There are many top leagues across Europe in many different countries: Spain, France, Germany etc, and the structures of the different leagues is consistent, with multiple levels and a system of promotion and relegation across the varying levels. As I am based in London, I focus on the English league, but the tips and tricks are the same throughout all the European leagues.
What Leagues and Competitions are there in England?
In England, The Premier League is the one you’ve almost certainly heard of. That’s where giants such as Arsenal, Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool etc play. What most tend to ignore is that beneath there are three more fully professional leagues that also provide highly competitive games. Known collectively as the English Football League, or EFL; they are called the Championship, League One, and League Two.
Throughout the year there are also Cup and League competitions that overlap the regular league seasons. The FA Cup is a tournament for all clubs in England. The EFL Cup is for all professional clubs. The EFL Trophy is for some smaller professional clubs. The Champions League is a European championship. The Europa League is a lesser European championship.
How long is the season?
The season runs from August to early May. In the summer, many clubs tour the US as part of their preseason training and exhibition season. There games usually every weekend, sometimes with a fixture midweek.
How do I find out when and where the games are?
There are links for the fixture lists across the different English leagues and competitions:
The dates on games are also subject to change, so always check in to make sure nothing has shifted.
Why are there no games on some weeks?
Some weeks will be empty because of an International Break, when players go home to play for their home countries. Here’s an entire post about it.
When will tickets be on sale?
Generally about six weeks before the actual fixtures, but depending on the quality of the clubs playing, they rarely sell out and are available all the way up until a day before the match. It is usually a good idea to buy as early as possible however.
How much will a ticket cost and how do I buy?
For all the lower leagues other than the Premier League, you can almost always buy tickets straight from the club’s website without needing a membership. The BPL is a little more difficult however as most times you will need a club membership in order to buy through the club’s official website. There are third party sites, but are to be taken with a grain of salt, they’re not always the most reliable. Here’s a link with helpful hints.
What if I can’t get to a game but want to watch with other fans?
More often that not you won’t be able to get to all of the games across England. The pubs are an excellent way to enjoy the culture with other fans and is substantially cheaper. Here’s a post about blending in and enjoying a game at the pub.
Any further questions that were not answered here, contact me here and I will be sure to help you out.