North Harbour Stadium
North Harbour Stadium, which for sponsorship reasons is known as QBE Stadium, is a stadium, situated in Albany, in North Shore City, New Zealand. It was opened in 1997, after nearly a decade of discussion and construction. Rugby union and rugby league are the only sports played on the main ground, as it is rectangular in shape; the neighbouring oval plays host to the region's senior cricket and AFL NZ football matches. The stadium hosts large open-air concerts, it is the home ground for the North Harbour side in the ITM Cup, taking over from North Harbour's previous home venue, Onewa Domain in Takapuna. It hosts one Auckland Blues home game in Super Rugby annually, it has played host to several rugby union and rugby league internationals. The New Zealand Warriors NRL team play warm-up matches at the ground, it was the home ground for The New Zealand Knights, the one New Zealand soccer team in the otherwise all-Australian Hyundai A-League, from 2005 until their licence was revoked by the league at the completion of the 2006/2007 season.
It played host to the FIFA Under-17 Women's Football World Cup in 2008. Radio Control Car Racing is held in a racetrack next to one of the carparks. On 20 June 2015 the stadium hosted the final of the FIFA Under-20 World Cup; the Auckland Tuatara of the Australian Baseball League will play games at QBE Stadium starting in 2019, after making renovations to make the stadium suitable for baseball. It has an official capacity of 25,000 for sporting events; the stadium has four seating areas – the main grandstand, on the southern side, which seats 12,000 and contains corporate facilities. A media tower was built prior to the 2011 Rugby World Cup looking down on the uncovered seats and across to the grandstand; the stadium is lit by four 45-meter tall light towers. New Zealand won the Rugby World Cup 2011 hosting rights in 2005, prompting a debate in late-2006 as to which stadium should be used to host the final. Eden Park and Stadium New Zealand were considered to be the two main options with North Harbour as an outsider.
The New Zealand government decided that Eden Park would host the final, with North Harbour as the official reserve option. Official North Harbour Stadium Site North Harbour Stadium at Austadiums
Eden Park is New Zealand's largest sports stadium. Located in central Auckland, New Zealand's largest city, it is three kilometres southwest of the CBD, on the boundary between the suburbs of Mount Eden and Kingsland. Although used for rugby union in winter and cricket in summer, it has hosted rugby league and football matches. In 2011 it hosted pool games, two quarter-finals, both semi-finals and the final of 2011 Rugby World Cup. In doing so it became the first stadium in the world to host two Rugby World Cup Finals, having held the inaugural final in 1987, it was a venue for the 2015 Cricket World Cup, jointly hosted by Australia and New Zealand. Eden Park has been a sports ground since 1900; the park began as a cricket ground in 1903, was due to the vision of one Harry Ryan, a cricket enthusiast who approached landowner John Walters to lease part of his land as a sports field. In the book Eden Park: A History, the authors write, "Certainly the rough paddock strewn with stones, studded with outcrops of rock and streaked with cowpats, falling away to a boggy trough that filled in a downpour and remained flooded throughout the winter, looked better suited to frog-hunting or duck-shooting than cricket, let alone rugby.
Ryan knew or at least imagined better." That bit of land was in fact located just up the road from Cabbage Tree Swamp, now Gribblehirst Park. Those who saw Ryan's vision as madness most felt vindicated when, in 1907, massive downpours of rain saw the ground submerged in water for a week; the same thing happened again in the year. Drainage problems were a scourge as late as 1975 when severe rain before the one-off test between the All Blacks and Scotland saw the event close to being called off with the drainage system unable to cope with the flooding. In 1913 the park was leased to the Auckland Rugby Union so it became both a summer and winter sporting venue, in 1921 hosted the first international event, a NZ v South Africa Test; the Western part of the ground was just open space until 1950 when a temporary stand was erected for the British Empire Games. In 1956 a permanent stand subsequently moved to North Harbour Stadium; the name ‘Eden Park’ settled into general usage around 1912, soon after it had been taken over by the Auckland Cricket Association.
Still the home of Auckland Cricket, Eden Park has hosted many international Tests, One Day International and Twenty/20 cricket matches. Rugby arrived in 1913 when, after negotiations with the Auckland Cricket Association, Auckland Rugby was granted a 21-year lease for games during the winter season; the first rugby test was held on 27 August 1921, when the Springboks beat the All Blacks 5–9 before a crowd of 40,000. The Auckland Rugby Football Union made Eden Park its home in 1925. In 1926 a Trust was set up to manage Eden Park for the benefit of Auckland Cricket and Auckland Rugby; the Trust still manages the Park. Eden Park has hosted events over the years from the 1950 Empire Games, the Queen Mother's visit in 1966, the infamous flour bombing test at the NZ v South Africa rugby game, to the Dalai Lama visit in 2002. In 1987, the ground hosted several matches of the inaugural Rugby World Cup, including the final, where New Zealand defeated France in the final; the ground was the subject of a hotly debated dilemma leading up to the 2011 Rugby World Cup, as to whether the event should be hosted at historic Eden Park or a new city centre stadium.
In 1996, the Auckland Blues began playing at the ground, with the inaugural Super 12 final held at the ground, the home side defeating the Natal Sharks in the match. Three subsequent finals have been held at the ground. In 2011, the ground hosted several matches of the 2011 Rugby World Cup, including the final, where New Zealand again defeated France in the final. In 2013 the New Zealand Warriors announced they would be playing three home games at Eden Park in the 2014 NRL season. In 2015, it hosted four matches during the 2015 Cricket World Cup, co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand including the first semi final between New Zealand and South Africa; the $256 million redevelopment completed in October 2010 provided a permanent capacity of 50,000 with a further 10,000 temporary seats for the 2011 Rugby World Cup games. This is the largest of any New Zealand sports arena. There are no standing areas. Temporary seating in front of the North Stand and the West Stand is required for the capacity to be reached.
Due to sight-screens and the larger area required for cricket matches, cricket capacity is smaller. Prior to redevelopment, Eden Park had a crowd capacity of 47,500 for 42,000 for cricket; the redevelopment project included a three-tier South stand replacing the old South and West stands, with a capacity of 24,000, a three-tier East replacing the Terraces. The number of covered seats increased from 23,000 to 38,000; the redeveloped Eden Park has an internal concourse that allows people to circulate around the grounds inside the stadium, world-class facilities, including food and beverage outlets and corporate areas, were incorporated. The open plan approach to the design and establishment of a community centre and green space, the removal of the perimeter fence, mean that the stadium has become more publicly accessible and a part of the neighbourhood. There were public concerns about the height of the new structure and its shading effect on many nearby houses. Auckland City Council received 470 submissions on the resource consent application, over 300 of which were in favour of the redevelopment.
On 26 January 2007, Eden Park received resource consent with 91 conditions imposed. The consent permitted the building of new stands in place of the terraces and south stand, but did not
Ricki Lloyd Herbert is a New Zealand former footballer and former head coach of the New Zealand national team, stepping down after the side failed to qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, former manager of A-League side Wellington Phoenix. Herbert represented his country at the 1982 FIFA World Cup in Spain and coached the New Zealand national team at the 2010 World Cup, his most recent role in international football was as the head coach of Maldives national football team. Herbert represented New Zealand at age group level, playing for the New Zealand under-20 side and gained 61 full international caps from 1980–1989, scoring seven goals. Herbert made his full international début in a 4–0 win over Mexico on 20 August 1980 at the age of 18, featured in all 15 matches of the All Whites' World Cup qualifying campaign for the 1982 FIFA World Cup in Spain. Herbert was a substitute for the loss against Scotland, but was reinstated to the starting eleven for both Soviet Union and Brazil as New Zealand failed to claim any points in their first World Cup finals appearance.
At club level, he played in the Australian league. He had his greatest success with Mt Wellington AFC where he won three league championships during two spells with the club and two Chatham Cup triumphs. In 1982 Herbert spent some time in England at Southampton F. C. where he made a few appearances for the reserve team and one disastrous friendly appearance for the first team. He had a spell in English football with Wolverhampton Wanderers from 1984 to 1986, where he made 49 appearances in total, he was signed by manager Tommy Docherty who had coached Herbert while manager of Sydney Olympic. However, his time at the club coincided with them sliding down the leagues. Herbert began his coaching career at Papakura City AFC in 1990, before taking over at neighbouring Papatoetoe AFC in 1993. From 1996 he took charge of Central United in the National Summer League, finishing mid table in his first season in charge. In both 1997 and 1998, Herbert took Central United to victory in the Chatham Cup and finished a close second in the league.
In 1999, New Zealand reverted to separate North Island and South Island leagues, with the winners of each playing off for title of New Zealand Champion. Central United, winners of the North Island Soccer League, defeated the South Island winner, Dunedin Technical, 3–1, after extra time, in the championship final. Herbert's domestic success attracted attention from NZ football association, in 1999 he was appointed coach of the under-23 Oly-Whites qualifying campaign for the Sydney Olympics. An appointment of assistant national coach followed in 2001. In 2003 Herbert took charge of the New Zealand U-17 team; as Director of Technical Development, Herbert was again responsible for New Zealand Olympic campaign in 2004, although they failed to qualify for the finals in Athens. Herbert was appointed All Whites coach on 25 February 2005, replacing Mick Waitt after being his assistant since 2003, with his first game in charge being scheduled in June that year as a friendly against archrival Australia.
As national coach, the All Whites won their first match in Europe when beating Georgia 3–1 in Germany in May 2006. On that tour, which included a 4–0 loss to Brazil, the All Whites drew 1–1 with Estonia in Tallinn. Herbert was honoured New Zealand Coach of the Year for 2007. Herbert led the New Zealand national football team to the victory in the 2008 OFC Nations Cup, qualifying for the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup in South Africa. Herbert is the second manager and only New Zealander to take New Zealand to the FIFA World Cup for a second time when his side qualified for the 2010 FIFA World Cup by winning World Cup qualifying play-off against Bahrain. On 15 June 2010, New Zealand drew 1–1 with Slovakia in their opening match in the World Cup Finals; this was their first point at a World Cup Finals and was earned when Winston Reid headed home a dramatic injury-time equaliser. Herbert described the draw as the "best result" for the New Zealand national team. In New Zealand's second game in the tournament, they held reigning world champions Italy to a memorable draw.
The All Whites' third game of the 2010 FIFA World Cup was against Paraguay. The outcome was a nil-all draw. New Zealand ended up becoming the only'undefeated' team in the tournament. Herbert announced his retirement following the All Whites' 4–2 loss to Mexico in November 2013, failing to qualify for the 2014 World Cup. In December 2006, after FFA announced that it had revoked the 2006 season A-League licence held by the Knights' owners, Herbert took over the reins of the now defunct New Zealand Knights under an arrangement between the FFA and NZ Soccer whereby the national body would step in to manage the club to meet their commitments for the remaining five games of the season. In that time the franchise won three matches, drew one and lost to competition winners Melbourne Victory. In 2007 the new A-League franchise, Wellington Phoenix was granted a three-year license, owner Terry Serepisos and Herbert confirmed as head coach. On 26 February 2013, Herbert resigned from his role as head coach and will take on an advisory role within the club.
On 19 August 2014, he was named as the manager of NorthEast United FC in the inaugural Indian Super League. On 13 October 2014, the team won their first ISL match at the Indira Gandhi Stadium, Spaniard Koke scoring the only goal of the game to defeat the Kerala Blasters. Herbert was appointed to FIFA's Technical Study Group to analyse tactical and technical dimen
Australia the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area; the neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea and East Timor to the north. The population of 25 million is urbanised and concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia's capital is Canberra, its largest city is Sydney; the country's other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide. Australia was inhabited by indigenous Australians for about 60,000 years before the first British settlement in the late 18th century, it is documented. After the European exploration of the continent by Dutch explorers in 1606, who named it New Holland, Australia's eastern half was claimed by Great Britain in 1770 and settled through penal transportation to the colony of New South Wales from 26 January 1788, a date which became Australia's national day; the population grew in subsequent decades, by the 1850s most of the continent had been explored and an additional five self-governing crown colonies established.
On 1 January 1901, the six colonies federated. Australia has since maintained a stable liberal democratic political system that functions as a federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy, comprising six states and ten territories. Being the oldest and driest inhabited continent, with the least fertile soils, Australia has a landmass of 7,617,930 square kilometres. A megadiverse country, its size gives it a wide variety of landscapes, with deserts in the centre, tropical rainforests in the north-east and mountain ranges in the south-east. A gold rush began in Australia in the early 1850s, its population density, 2.8 inhabitants per square kilometre, remains among the lowest in the world. Australia generates its income from various sources including mining-related exports, telecommunications and manufacturing. Indigenous Australian rock art is the oldest and richest in the world, dating as far back as 60,000 years and spread across hundreds of thousands of sites. Australia is a developed country, with the world's 14th-largest economy.
It has a high-income economy, with the world's tenth-highest per capita income. It is a regional power, has the world's 13th-highest military expenditure. Australia has the world's ninth-largest immigrant population, with immigrants accounting for 26% of the population. Having the third-highest human development index and the eighth-highest ranked democracy globally, the country ranks in quality of life, education, economic freedom, civil liberties and political rights, with all its major cities faring well in global comparative livability surveys. Australia is a member of the United Nations, G20, Commonwealth of Nations, ANZUS, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, World Trade Organization, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, Pacific Islands Forum and the ASEAN Plus Six mechanism; the name Australia is derived from the Latin Terra Australis, a name used for a hypothetical continent in the Southern Hemisphere since ancient times. When Europeans first began visiting and mapping Australia in the 17th century, the name Terra Australis was applied to the new territories.
Until the early 19th century, Australia was best known as "New Holland", a name first applied by the Dutch explorer Abel Tasman in 1644 and subsequently anglicised. Terra Australis still saw occasional usage, such as in scientific texts; the name Australia was popularised by the explorer Matthew Flinders, who said it was "more agreeable to the ear, an assimilation to the names of the other great portions of the earth". The first time that Australia appears to have been used was in April 1817, when Governor Lachlan Macquarie acknowledged the receipt of Flinders' charts of Australia from Lord Bathurst. In December 1817, Macquarie recommended to the Colonial Office. In 1824, the Admiralty agreed that the continent should be known by that name; the first official published use of the new name came with the publication in 1830 of The Australia Directory by the Hydrographic Office. Colloquial names for Australia include "Oz" and "the Land Down Under". Other epithets include "the Great Southern Land", "the Lucky Country", "the Sunburnt Country", "the Wide Brown Land".
The latter two both derive from Dorothea Mackellar's 1908 poem "My Country". Human habitation of the Australian continent is estimated to have begun around 65,000 to 70,000 years ago, with the migration of people by land bridges and short sea-crossings from what is now Southeast Asia; these first inhabitants were the ancestors of modern Indigenous Australians. Aboriginal Australian culture is one of the oldest continual civilisations on earth. At the time of first European contact, most Indigenous Australians were hunter-gatherers with complex economies and societies. Recent archaeological finds suggest. Indigenous Australians have an oral culture with spiritual values based on reverence for the land and a belief in the Dreamtime; the Torres Strait Islanders, ethnically Melanesian, obtained their livelihood from seasonal horticulture and the resources of their reefs and seas. The northern coasts and waters of Australia were visited s
Adelaide United FC
Adelaide United Football Club is a professional soccer club based in Adelaide, South Australia, Australia. The club participates in the A-League under licence from Football Federation Australia; the club was founded in 2003 to fill the place vacated by Adelaide City and West Adelaide in the former National Soccer League, is now the sole team from the state of South Australia in the A-League. Adelaide United's home ground is Hindmarsh Stadium. Adelaide United were premiers in the inaugural 2005–06 A-League season, finishing 7 points clear of the rest of the competition, before finishing third in the finals, they were Premiers again in 2015/16 finishing just one point ahead of second place Western Sydney. Adelaide United holds the record for the largest win in an A-League game. Adelaide defeated North Queensland Fury 8–1 at Hindmarsh Stadium on 21 January 2011, it was the first time – and, to date, remains the only time – a team had two players score hat-tricks in a single match: one to Marcos Flores and the other to Sergio van Dijk.
In 2014, Adelaide United were the winners of the first FFA Cup, beating Perth Glory 1–0 in the final, in 2016 won their first A-League Grand Final, beating the Western Sydney Wanderers 3–1 with goals from Bruce Kamau, Isaías and Pablo Sanchez. In 2018, Adelaide United became the first team to win two FFA Cup titles after defeating Sydney FC in the 2018 FFA Cup Final. In August 2003, Adelaide City withdrew from the National Soccer League, leaving Adelaide with no NSL presence for the first time since the beginning of the league in 1977. West Adelaide had withdrawn from the NSL in 1999. In response, Adelaide United was created on 12 September 2003, with builder and property developer Gordon Pickard funding the new club and former Soccer Australia and FIFA executive Basil Scarsella as Chairman. On 13 September, former Brisbane Strikers and Newcastle Breakers manager John Kosmina was announced as the manager, within the frame of a few weeks time a team was cobbled together with the remnants of the Adelaide City squad to compete in the clubs inaugural season.
On 17 October 2003, Adelaide United won its first NSL match, against Brisbane Strikers 1–0 in front of a crowd in excess of 16,000 people. After an impressive home-and-away season, including a seven-match unbeaten streak during November and December 2003, Adelaide United reached the NSL preliminary final, losing to Perth Glory; the NSL came to an end at the completion of the 2003–04 season after 28 seasons with The Reds only competing in the final season as governing body Australian Soccer Association shut down the league in preparation for the launch of the professional A-League 12 months on 26 August 2005. Adelaide United were announced as one of eight teams to compete in the first season of the A-League, are, along with the Perth Glory and Newcastle Jets, one of only three teams to survive from the National Soccer League's last season. United began preparation earlier than most of the other clubs and had announced two thirds of the 20 man squad before February 2005; the club focused on bringing several Adelaide born players back to South Australia, such as Angelo Costanzo, Travis Dodd and Lucas Pantelis, who had played for Adelaide City SC in the NSL.
Shengqing Qu was signed from Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua as the clubs "marquee" signing in March 2005. Aurelio Vidmar announced his retirement before the A-League had started, he was replaced before the fifth round by striker Fernando from Brazil, a former'player of the year' in the old NSL. By moving to Adelaide, he was reunited with former coach John Kosmina who introduced him to Australian audiences at the Brisbane Strikers. Adelaide United Director Mel Patzwald established links with American club Miami FC, setting up a'sister club' relationship, with whom they played a number of friendlies and leading to signing Diego from them; the team signed Brazilian legend Romário for a 5-game guest stint in November/December 2006. Furthermore, through Mel's connections established a sister club relationship with Chinese club and reigning Asian champions at the time Shandong Luneng. Continuing their good form from the final season of the NSL, Adelaide United finished as Premiers in the inaugural season of the Hyundai A-League.
The Reds were bundled out of the finals race in straight sets losing to Sydney FC in the two leg semi final and Central Coast Mariners 1–0 in the preliminary final at Hindmarsh. Adelaide United started the season well by winning the A-League Pre-Season Challenge Cup, beating reigning champions Central Coast Mariners 5–4 on penalties after 1–1 at the end of extra time. In the premiership season, The Reds finished runners up to Melbourne Victory. After a successful finals campaign, The Reds advanced to the 2006–07 Grand Final after winning 4–3 on penalties against the Newcastle Jets. Adelaide United played Melbourne Victory at the Telstra Dome in the Grand Final on 18 February 2007 losing 6–0. Coach John Kosmina was sacked the following week-however not only because of the grand final disaster but for alleged abuse of 2 Channel 10 reporters; the 2006–07 season saw Brazilian international Romário join the club for a four-game guest player stint. Adelaide United were selected, along with Sydney FC, as the first Australian representatives to play in the 2007 AFC Champions League.
They received their Asian berth as A-League premiers. Adelaide was drawn into Group G with Chinese champion Shandong Luneng Taishan, Korean champions Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma and Vietnamese league and Super Cup champions Gach Dong Tam Long An. Adelaide finished 3rd in its group; the Reds launched into the season by winning the A-League P
Central Coast Mariners FC
Central Coast Mariners Football Club is an Australian professional soccer club based in Gosford, on the Central Coast of New South Wales. It competes under licence from Football Federation Australia; the Mariners are one of the eight original A-League teams. It is the first professional sports club from the Gosford region to compete in a national competition. Despite being considered one of the smallest-market clubs in the league, the Central Coast Mariners have claimed one A-League Championship from four Grand Final appearances and topped the table to win the A-League Premiership twice; the club has appeared in the AFC Champions League four times. The club plays matches at a 20,059-seat stadium in Gosford; the facility is home to a youth team that competes in the National Youth League. The English EFL Championship team Sheffield United has invested in the Central Coast-based club, the Mariners has affiliation agreements with several international clubs; the Mariners' main supporters' group is known as the Yellow Army, for the colour of the club's home kit.
The club shares a rivalry with Newcastle Jets, known as the F3 Derby, after the previous name of the motorway that connects the cities of the teams. Matt Simon is the Mariners' all-time leading goalscorer as of December 2014, with 49 goals in all competitions; the team record for matches played is held by John Hutchinson, who has appeared in 263 games for the Mariners. Central Coast Mariners' bid for a franchise in the Football Federation Australia's new A-League competition was aimed at filling the one spot for a regional team, designated by the FFA. Media speculation prior to the announcement of the franchises in the new league suggested that the Mariners' bid may be favourable due to its new blood. Backing from former Australian international player and club technical director Alex Tobin, as well as Clean Up Australia personality Ian Kiernan—who would act as inaugural club chairman—also strengthened its proposal; as the only regional bidder, Central Coast was expected to make it into the league by default.
Following a reported signed deal with the FFA, the club signed former Northern Spirit coach Lawrie McKinna as manager and Ian Ferguson, a former Rangers and Northern Spirit player, as coach. To aid the FFA's goals of building the profile of the sport, the Mariners created formal links with local state league team Central Coast United. On 1 November 2004, after much expectation, the club was announced as one of eight teams to become part of FFA's domestic competition, the A-League; the decision made Central Coast Mariners the first Gosford-based professional sports team to play in a national competition. At the time of the formation of the new league in 2004, the club was owned by Spirits Sports and Leisure Group; the club announced its search for a star player under the league's allowance for one star player outside of the $1.5 million salary cap, insisting that the player should not look at the position as a retirement fund. Coach Lawrie McKinna sought interest from Australia national football team players Ante Milicic and Simon Colosimo, announced that he may sign more than the three under-20 players required by league rules.
Early concerns for the club focussed on concerns over financial stability, but after forming a partnership with technology company Toshiba and a cash injection from local businessman John Singleton, the club's financial worries were eased. McKinna was keen to sign local player Damien Brown of Bateau Bay of the Newcastle Jets. In a decision which prompted the player to declare that he was "over the moon", Brown became the first player to sign with the club. Club chairman Lyall Gorman was pleased that a local had become a "foundation player" and part of Brown's role would be to assist with selection of younger players from the local area. By early December 2004, the club had created a steady foundation of player signings and began negotiations with former Perth Glory striker Nik Mrdja, signing him in the month as its star attacker. Mrjda was one of the most prominent players in the last season of the National Soccer League, scoring the final goal to secure Perth Glory's finals win; the club's management was reluctant to sign a star player outside of the $1.5 million salary cap, stipulating that they "would have to contribute on the pitch and get people to come to the ground."
The Mariners' inaugural season was considered a resounding success by most. Central Coast was defeated by Sydney FC 1–0 in front of a crowd of 41,689—a competition record at the time; the Mariners won the 2005 Pre-Season Cup, defeating Perth Glory in the final 1–0. Before the 2006–07 A-League season, the Mariners secured the services of then-Australian international Tony Vidmar from NAC Breda for two years; this was the club's first marquee signing, following the lead of Adelaide United. Central Coast again reached the grand final in the 2006 Pre-Season Cup, losing to Adelaide United 5–4 on penalties after the score was tied 1–1 after extra time; the Mariners participated in the 2006–07 A-League season, but was unable to gain a spot in the final series, finishing sixth after the regular season. Club captain Noel Spencer was released by the Mariners signed to participate in the Asian Champions League by Sydney FC after the 2006–07 season, Alex Wilkinson was appointed the new captain. Only 22 years of age at the time, Wilkinson had played every possible competitive match for the Mariners up to his appointment.
In February 2008, Central Coast Mariners signed an arrangem
The Premier League is the top level of the English football league system. Contested by 20 clubs, it operates on a system of promotion and relegation with the English Football League; the Premier League is a corporation. Seasons run from August to May with each team playing 38 matches. Most games are played on Sunday afternoons; the Premier League has featured 47 English and two Welsh clubs since its inception, making it a cross-border league. The competition was formed as the FA Premier League on 20 February 1992 following the decision of clubs in the Football League First Division to break away from the Football League, founded in 1888, take advantage of a lucrative television rights deal; the deal was worth £1 billion a year domestically as of 2013–14, with BSkyB and BT Group securing the domestic rights to broadcast 116 and 38 games respectively. The league generates € 2.2 billion per year in international television rights. Clubs were apportioned revenues of £2.4 billion in 2016–17. The Premier League is the most-watched sports league in the world, broadcast in 212 territories to 643 million homes and a potential TV audience of 4.7 billion people.
In the 2014–15 season, the average Premier League match attendance exceeded 36,000, second highest of any professional football league behind the Bundesliga's 43,500. Most stadium occupancies are near capacity; the Premier League ranks second in the UEFA coefficients of leagues based on performances in European competitions over the past five seasons, as of 2018. Forty-nine clubs have competed since the inception of the Premier League in 1992. Six of them have won the title since then: Manchester United, Arsenal, Manchester City, Blackburn Rovers, Leicester City; the record of most points in a Premier League season is 100, set by Manchester City in 2017–18. Despite significant European success in the 1970s and early 1980s, the late 1980s marked a low point for English football. Stadiums were crumbling, supporters endured poor facilities, hooliganism was rife, English clubs were banned from European competition for five years following the Heysel Stadium disaster in 1985; the Football League First Division, the top level of English football since 1888, was behind leagues such as Italy's Serie A and Spain's La Liga in attendances and revenues, several top English players had moved abroad.
By the turn of the 1990s the downward trend was starting to reverse: at the 1990 FIFA World Cup, England reached the semi-finals. In the 1980s, major English clubs had begun to transform into business ventures, applying commercial principles to club administration to maximise revenue. Martin Edwards of Manchester United, Irving Scholar of Tottenham Hotspur, David Dein of Arsenal were among the leaders in this transformation, it gave the top clubs more power. By threatening to break away, clubs in Division One managed to increase their voting power, they took a 50% share of all television and sponsorship income in 1986. Revenue from television became more important: the Football League received £6.3 million for a two-year agreement in 1986, but by 1988, in a deal agreed with ITV, the price rose to £44 million over four years with the leading clubs taking 75% of the cash. According to Scholar, involved in the negotiations of television deals, each of the First Division clubs received only around £25,000 per year from television rights before 1986, this increased to around £50,000 in the 1986 negotiation to £600,000 in 1988.
The 1988 negotiations were conducted under the threat of ten clubs leaving to form a "super league", but they were persuaded to stay with the top clubs taking the lion share of the deal. As stadiums improved and match attendance and revenues rose, the country's top teams again considered leaving the Football League in order to capitalise on the influx of money into the sport. In 1990, the managing director of London Weekend Television, Greg Dyke, met with the representatives of the "big five" football clubs in England over a dinner; the meeting was to pave the way for a break away from The Football League. Dyke believed that it would be more lucrative for LWT if only the larger clubs in the country were featured on national television and wanted to establish whether the clubs would be interested in a larger share of television rights money; the five clubs decided to press ahead with it. The FA did not enjoy an amicable relationship with the Football League at the time and considered it as a way to weaken the Football League's position.
At the close of the 1991 season, a proposal was tabled for the establishment of a new league that would bring more money into the game overall. The Founder Members Agreement, signed on 17 July 1991 by the game's top-flight clubs, established the basic principles for setting up the FA Premier League; the newly formed top division would have commercial independence from The Football Association and the Football League, giving the FA Premier League licence to negotiate