1992–93 FA Premier League
The 1992–93 FA Premier League was the inaugural season of the Premier League, the top division of English football. The season began on 15 August 1992 and ended on 11 May 1993; the league was made up of the 22 clubs that broke away from The Football League at the end of the 1991–92 season. The new league was backed up by a five-year, £305 million deal with Sky to televise Premier League matches. In concept, the Premier League was identical to the old First Division of the Football League, now reduced to three divisions. In May 1992, the breakaway league signed a broadcasting rights contract with Sky and the BBC valued at £304 million, the largest such agreement in the history of British sport; the league's executive committee was unable, however, to secure title sponsorship for the new competition after eight clubs blocked a proposed £13 million deal with brewers Bass. Nonetheless, clubs began to utilise their increased wealth to fund a series of high-profile transfers. Although the idea of a super league had been mentioned by football's governing bodies and evaluated by the media since the mid 1980s, plans for a new Premier League of 22 clubs were first unveiled by the Football Association in October 1990, included in the Football Association's Blueprint for the Future of Football, published in June 1991.
The majority of First Division clubs long-established top clubs including Arsenal and Manchester United, were in favour of a breakaway from the Football League, although Football League president Bill Fox criticised the planned Premier League as an attempt by the Football Association to "hijack" the First Division. Shortly before the season began, newly promoted Blackburn Rovers signed Southampton's 21-year-old England international striker Alan Shearer for a new British record fee variously reported as £3.3 million, £3.4 million, or £3.6 million. Several other players moved for fees of £2 million or more, including Arsenal's David Rocastle, who joined Leeds United, Dean Saunders, who moved from Liverpool to Aston Villa, Teddy Sheringham, who left Nottingham Forest for Tottenham Hotspur; the structure of the new league was identical to that of the previous season's Football League First Division, comprising 22 teams, with each playing the other 21 twice for a total of 42 matches. Ipswich Town and Middlesbrough had been promoted from the old Second Division as champions and runners-up and Blackburn Rovers took the third promotion place after winning the 1991–92 Second Division playoff.
The first Premier League title went to the club's first title for 26 years. Their title was achieved with a 10-point lead over runners-up Aston Villa. Norwich City led the table for much of the season, but their challenge faded in the final weeks of the season and were out of contention three games before the season was over after they lost 3–1 to Ipswich Town. Norwich did however finish in third place, achieving European qualification in Mike Walker's debut season as manager. Blackburn, in the top division for the first time in 30 years, finished in fourth place taking the lead of the league early in the season but suffering a shortage of goals after 16-goal Alan Shearer was injured just after Christmas; the title race after Christmas was between the clubs who finished in the top four after early challenges from likes of Arsenal, Coventry City, QPR were not sustained. Nottingham Forest's league form had suffered through the sale of key players like Des Walker and Teddy Sheringham, they were bottom of the Premier League for much of the 1992–93 season.
Their relegation was confirmed in early May when they lost to Sheffield United, manager Brian Clough announced his retirement after 18 years as manager, which had yielded one league title, two European Cups and four League Cups. Next to go were newly promoted Middlesbrough, who fell from mid-table at Christmas to go down in second from bottom place. Last to go down were Crystal Palace, who failed to win their final game of the season which would have instead consigned Oldham Athletic to the final relegation place. Title holders Leeds United finished 17th, which became one of the worst-ever title defences in the English top flight; the top scorer in the new Premier League was Teddy Sheringham, who found the net for Nottingham Forest in their opening game of the season before being sold to Tottenham Hotspur, scoring a further 21 goals for the North London side in the league. PFA Player of the Year was Paul McGrath of Aston Villa. FWA Player of the Year was Chris Waddle, who helped Sheffield Wednesday achieve runners-up spot in both of the cups after ending his three-year spell in France.
PFA Young Player of the Year was Ryan Giggs, who won the award for the second year running, picked up a league title medal with Manchester United. Twenty-two teams competed in the league – the top nineteen teams from the First Division and the three teams promoted from the Second Division; the promoted teams were Ipswich Town and Blackburn Rovers, returning to the top flight after an absence of six and twenty-six years respectively. They replaced Luton Town, Notts County and West Ham United, ending their top flight spells of ten and eleven years respectively; the top goalscorer in the Premier League's inaugural season was Teddy Sheringham, who scored one goal for Nottingham Forest before his early-season transfer followed by 21 for Tottenham Hotspur for a total of 22. Alan Shearer had scored 16 goals by Christmas before suffering a season-ending injury. Note: – Home. Manchester Unite
1999 FA Cup Final
The 1999 FA Cup Final was a football match that took place on 22 May 1999 at the old Wembley Stadium, London, to determine the winner of the 1998–99 FA Cup. It was contested between Manchester United and Newcastle United, with goals from Teddy Sheringham and Paul Scholes giving Manchester United a 2–0 win to claim their 10th FA Cup title, it was the second part of the "Treble" of trophies Manchester United won during the 1998–99 season, completed four days when they won the Champions League. Manchester United's route to the final saw them face Premier League opposition in every round except the Fifth, the last FA Cup semi-final replay, against the Cup holders from the previous season, Arsenal. Meanwhile, Newcastle beat Tottenham Hotspur 2–0 in their semi-final. Since Manchester United qualified for the 1999–2000 UEFA Champions League as title holders and winners of the 1998–99 FA Premier League, England's place in the 1999–2000 UEFA Cup, now reserved for the FA Cup winners following the dissolution of the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup at the end of the season, was given to Newcastle United as the runners-up.
Manchester United did not defend their title, choosing instead to participate in the 2000 FIFA Club World Championship in Brazil, believing that it would help The Football Association's bid to host the 2006 FIFA World Cup. As winners of the FA Cup, Manchester United played in the 1999 FA Charity Shield against Premier League runners-up Arsenal. Manchester United went into the match as champions of England, having clinched the Premier League title in their final game the previous weekend after losing just three league games all season, they had qualified for the 1999 UEFA Champions League Final against Bayern Munich, due to be played four days on 26 May, were unbeaten in their previous 31 matches in all competitions. By contrast, Newcastle United had finished 13th out of the 20 teams in the Premier League, had been knocked out of the Cup Winners' Cup in the first round and the League Cup in the fourth round, it was Newcastle's second consecutive appearance in the FA Cup Final – having lost 2–0 to Arsenal in 1998 – and their 13th appearance overall.
They had a 50 percent record in their previous 12 finals, having won in 1910, 1924, 1932, 1951, 1952 and 1955. Manchester United had a better record in their 14 previous final appearances, having won on a record nine occasions – in 1909, 1948, 1963, 1977, 1983, 1985, 1990, 1994 and 1996, the latter two having been part of "Doubles". With victory in the 1999 final, Manchester United would become the first English club to win the Double on three occasions, it would put them one win away from the Treble of league and European Cup, a feat no English team had managed before; the two teams had met met 128 times in all competitions, with Manchester United winning 60 times, Newcastle United winning 37 times, the remaining 31 finishing as draws. Only two of those meetings occurred in the FA Cup: the first happened in the 1908–09 semi-final, when Manchester United won 1–0 at Bramall Lane in Sheffield on the way to their first FA Cup title, the second in the Fifth Round of the 1989–90 competition, with Manchester United winning 3–2 at St James' Park before going on to win their seventh FA Cup.
Manchester United came out on top in their two league meetings in the 1998–99 season, winning 2–1 at St James' Park on 13 March after playing out a goalless draw at Old Trafford on 8 November. As Premier League teams, both Manchester United and Newcastle United entered the 1998–99 FA Cup in the Third Round Proper, with Newcastle drawn at home to First Division Crystal Palace, Manchester United at home to fellow Premier League side Middlesbrough, the last team to beat them all season. Despite having goalkeeper Shay Given sent off within the first 15 minutes and going 1–0 down, Newcastle were able to come from behind to beat Crystal Palace in their tie, while Manchester United came from behind against Middlesbrough to win 3–1. Manchester United's victory set up a Fourth Round tie at home to arch-rivals Liverpool, Newcastle were paired with First Division Bradford City. Newcastle won 3–0 to book their place in the Fifth Round, while Manchester United again came from a goal down to beat Liverpool with two goals in the last two minutes of their tie.
The Fifth Round saw Newcastle drawn at home to their first Premier League opposition of the tournament in Blackburn Rovers, whereas Manchester United were paired with their only non-Premier League opponents, Second Division Fulham. A goal from Andy Cole saw Manchester United win 1–0 to progress to the Sixth Round, but Newcastle were held to a goalless draw by Blackburn, forcing a replay. Newcastle's on-loan striker Louis Saha scored the only goal of the replay, they were through to the last eight. Home draws in the Sixth Round for both teams ensured that they had both been drawn at home in every round of the competition, with Manchester United hosting Chelsea at Old Trafford and Newcastle hosting Everton at St James' Park; this time it was Newcastle who only needed one match to progress to the semi-finals, beating Everton 4–1 with goals from Temur Ketsbaia, Georgios Georgiadis and Alan Shearer. Meanwhile, Manchester United were unable to make their numerical advantage count against Chelsea after Roberto Di Matteo was sent off, before Paul Scholes was sent off himself for Manchester United.
The match finished goalless and a replay followed three days with Dwight Yorke scoring in each half to give Manchester United a 2–0 win. As per tradition, the semi-finals were played at neutral venues.
English Football League
The English Football League is a league competition featuring professional football clubs from England and Wales. Founded in 1888 as the Football League, the league is the oldest such competition in world football, it was the top-level football league in England from its foundation until 1992, when the top 22 clubs split away to form the Premier League. The three leagues below the Premier League are known as the Championship, League One and League Two, with 24 clubs in each division. Promotion and relegation between these divisions is a central feature of the League and is further extended to allow the top Championship clubs to exchange places with the lowest-placed clubs in the Premier League, the bottom clubs of League Two to switch with the top clubs of the National League, thus integrating the League into the English football league system. Although a competition for English clubs, clubs from Wales – Swansea City and Newport County – take part, while in the past Cardiff City, Merthyr Town and Aberdare Athletic have been members.
The Football League was associated with a title sponsor between 1983 and 2016. As this sponsor changed over the years the league too has been known by various names. Starting with the 2016–17 season, the league has moved away from having a title sponsor, rebranding itself as the English Football League, in much the same way the Premier League is known as the "EPL" internationally; the English Football League is the name of the governing body of the league competition, this body organises two knock-out cup competitions, the EFL Cup and the EFL Trophy. The operations centre of the Football League is in Preston, while its commercial office is in London; the commercial office was based in Lytham St Annes, after its original spell in Preston. The Football League consists of 70 professional association football clubs in England and 2 in Wales, it runs the oldest professional football league competition in the world. It organises two knockout cup competitions, the EFL Cup and EFL Trophy; the Football League was founded in 1888 by Aston Villa director William McGregor with 12 member clubs.
Steady growth and the addition of more divisions meant. Financial considerations led to a major shake-up in 1992 when, in a step to maximise their revenue, the leading members of the Football League broke away to form their own competition, the FA Premier League, renamed in 2007 as the Premier League; the Football League therefore no longer includes the top 20 clubs who belong to this group, although promotion and relegation between the Football League and the Premier League continues. In total, 136 teams have played in the Football League up to 2013; the EFL's 72 member clubs are grouped into three divisions: the EFL Championship, EFL League One, EFL League Two. Each division has 24 clubs, in any given season a club plays each of the others in the same division twice, once at their home stadium and once at that of their opponents; this makes for a total of 46 games played each season. Clubs gain three points for a win, one for a draw, none for a defeat. At the end of the season, clubs at the top of their division may win promotion to the next higher division, while those at the bottom may be relegated to the next lower one.
At the top end of the competition, three Championship clubs win promotion from the Football League to the Premier League, with the bottom three Premier League clubs taking their places. At the lower end, two League Two clubs lose their Football League status with relegation to the National division of the National League, while two teams from that division join League Two of The Football League in their stead. Promotion and relegation are determined by final league positions, but to sustain interest for more clubs over the length of the season one promotion place from each division is decided according to a playoff between four clubs, which takes place at the end of the season, it is therefore possible for a team finishing sixth in the Championship or League One, or seventh in League Two, to be promoted rather than the clubs finishing above them in the standings. Since the 2004–05 season, penalties have existed for clubs entering financial administration during the season. If a club enters administration before 31 March of any given season, they will be deducted 12 points.
It is required that a club exiting administration agree a Creditor's Voluntary Agreement, pay in full any other footballing creditors. Failure to do either of these will result in a second unlimited points deduction; the other main situation in, a club may lose points is by fielding an improperly registered or otherwise ineligible player. If a club is found to have done this any points earned from any match that player participated in will be deducted; the EFL organises two knock-out cup competitions: the EFL Trophy. The EFL Cup was established in 1960 and is open to all EFL and Premier League
Association football, more known as football or soccer, is a team sport played with a spherical ball between two teams of eleven players. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies, making it the world's most popular sport; the game is played on a rectangular field called a pitch with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by moving the ball beyond the goal line into the opposing goal. Association football is one of a family of football codes, which emerged from various ball games played worldwide since antiquity; the modern game traces its origins to 1863 when the Laws of the Game were codified in England by The Football Association. Players are not allowed to touch the ball with hands or arms while it is in play, except for the goalkeepers within the penalty area. Other players use their feet to strike or pass the ball, but may use any other part of their body except the hands and the arms; the team that scores most goals by the end of the match wins.
If the score is level at the end of the game, either a draw is declared or the game goes into extra time or a penalty shootout depending on the format of the competition. Association football is governed internationally by the International Federation of Association Football, which organises World Cups for both men and women every four years; the rules of association football were codified in England by the Football Association in 1863 and the name association football was coined to distinguish the game from the other forms of football played at the time rugby football. The first written "reference to the inflated ball used in the game" was in the mid-14th century: "Þe heued fro þe body went, Als it were a foteballe"; the Online Etymology Dictionary states that the "rules of the game" were made in 1848, before the "split off in 1863". The term soccer comes from a slang or jocular abbreviation of the word "association", with the suffix "-er" appended to it; the word soccer was first recorded in 1889 in the earlier form of socca.
Within the English-speaking world, association football is now called "football" in the United Kingdom and "soccer" in Canada and the United States. People in countries where other codes of football are prevalent may use either term, although national associations in Australia and New Zealand now use "football" for the formal name. According to FIFA, the Chinese competitive game cuju is the earliest form of football for which there is evidence. Cuju players could use any part of the body apart from hands and the intent was kicking a ball through an opening into a net, it was remarkably similar to modern football. During the Han Dynasty, cuju games were standardised and rules were established. Phaininda and episkyros were Greek ball games. An image of an episkyros player depicted in low relief on a vase at the National Archaeological Museum of Athens appears on the UEFA European Championship Cup. Athenaeus, writing in 228 AD, referenced the Roman ball game harpastum. Phaininda and harpastum were played involving hands and violence.
They all appear to have resembled rugby football and volleyball more than what is recognizable as modern football. As with pre-codified "mob football", the antecedent of all modern football codes, these three games involved more handling the ball than kicking. Other games included kemari in chuk-guk in Korea. Association football in itself does not have a classical history. Notwithstanding any similarities to other ball games played around the world FIFA has recognised that no historical connection exists with any game played in antiquity outside Europe; the modern rules of association football are based on the mid-19th century efforts to standardise the varying forms of football played in the public schools of England. The history of football in England dates back to at least the eighth century AD; the Cambridge Rules, first drawn up at Cambridge University in 1848, were influential in the development of subsequent codes, including association football. The Cambridge Rules were written at Trinity College, Cambridge, at a meeting attended by representatives from Eton, Rugby and Shrewsbury schools.
They were not universally adopted. During the 1850s, many clubs unconnected to schools or universities were formed throughout the English-speaking world, to play various forms of football; some came up with their own distinct codes of rules, most notably the Sheffield Football Club, formed by former public school pupils in 1857, which led to formation of a Sheffield FA in 1867. In 1862, John Charles Thring of Uppingham School devised an influential set of rules; these ongoing efforts contributed to the formation of The Football Association in 1863, which first met on the morning of 26 October 1863 at the Freemasons' Tavern in Great Queen Street, London. The only school to be represented on this occasion was Charterhouse; the Freemason's Tavern was the setting for five more meetings between October and December, which produced the first comprehensive set of rules. At the final meeting, the first FA treasurer, the representative from Blackheath, withdrew his club from the FA over the removal of two draft rules at the previous meeting: the first allowed for running with the ball in hand.
Other English rugby clubs followed this lead and did not join the FA and instead in 1871 formed the Rugby Football Union. The eleven remaining clubs, under
Arsenal Football Club is a professional football club based in Islington, England, that plays in the Premier League, the top flight of English football. It has won 13 League titles, a record 13 FA Cups, two League Cups, the League Centenary Trophy, 15 FA Community Shields, one UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, one Inter-Cities Fairs Cup. Arsenal was the first club from the South of England to join The Football League, in 1893, they reached the First Division in 1904. Relegated only once, in 1913, they continue the longest streak in the top division, have won the second-most top-flight matches in English football history. In the 1930s, Arsenal won five League Championships and two FA Cups, another FA Cup and two Championships after the war. In 1970 -- 71, they won their first FA Cup Double. Between 1989 and 2005, they won five FA Cups, including two more Doubles, they completed the 20th century with the highest average league position. Herbert Chapman died prematurely, he helped introduce the WM formation and shirt numbers, added the white sleeves and brighter red to Arsenal's kit.
Arsène Wenger won the most trophies. He won a record 7 FA Cups, his title-winning team set an English record for the longest top-flight unbeaten league run at 49 games between 2003 and 2004, receiving the nickname The Invincibles, a special gold Premier League trophy. In 1886, Woolwich munitions workers founded the club as Dial Square. In 1913, the club crossed the city to Arsenal Stadium in Highbury, becoming close neighbours of Tottenham Hotspur, creating the North London derby. In 2006, they moved to the nearby Emirates Stadium. In terms of revenue, Arsenal is the ninth highest-earning football club in the world, earned €487.6m in 2016–17 season. Based on social media activity from 2014 to 2015, Arsenal's fanbase is the fifth largest in the world. In 2018, Forbes estimated the club was the third most valuable in England, with the club being worth $2.24 billion. In October 1886, Scotsman David Danskin and his fellow 15 munitions workers in Woolwich, now South East London, formed Arsenal as Dial Square, with each member contributing sixpence and Danskin adding another three shillings to help form the club.
Named after the heart of the Royal Arsenal complex, they took the name of the whole complex a month later. Royal Arsenal F. C.'s first home was Plumstead Common, though they spent most of their time in South East London playing on the other side of Plumstead, at the Manor Ground. Royal Arsenal won Arsenal's first trophies in 1890 and 1891, these were the only football association trophies Arsenal won during their time in South East London. In 1891, Royal Arsenal became the first London club to turn professional. Royal Arsenal renamed themselves for a second time upon becoming a limited liability company in 1893, they registered their new name, Woolwich Arsenal, with The Football League when the club ascended that year. Woolwich Arsenal was the first southern member of The Football League, starting out in the Second Division and winning promotion to the First Division in 1904. Falling attendances, due to financial difficulties among the munitions workers and the arrival of more accessible football clubs elsewhere in the city, led the club close to bankruptcy by 1910.
Businessmen Henry Norris and William Hall became involved in the club, sought to move them elsewhere. In 1913, soon after relegation back to the Second Division, Woolwich Arsenal moved to the new Arsenal Stadium in Highbury, North London; this saw their third change of name: the following year, they reduced Woolwich Arsenal to The Arsenal. In 1919, The Football League voted to promote The Arsenal, instead of relegated local rivals Tottenham Hotspur, into the newly enlarged First Division, despite only listing the club sixth in the Second Division's last pre-war season of 1914–15; some books have speculated. That year, The Arsenal started dropping "The" in official documents shifting its name for the final time towards Arsenal, as it is known today. With a new home and First Division football, attendances were more than double those at the Manor Ground, Arsenal's budget grew rapidly, their location and record-breaking salary offer lured star Huddersfield Town manager Herbert Chapman in 1925. Over the next five years, Chapman built a new Arsenal.
He appointed enduring new trainer Tom Whittaker, implemented Charlie Buchan's new twist on the nascent WM formation, captured young players like Cliff Bastin and Eddie Hapgood, lavished Highbury's income on stars like David Jack and Alex James. With record-breaking spending and gate receipts, Arsenal became known as the Bank of England club. Transformed, Chapman's Arsenal claimed their first national trophy, the FA Cup, in 1930. Two League Championships followed, in 1930–31 and 1932–33. Chapman presided over multiple off the pitch changes: white sleeves and shirt numbers were added to the kit. In the middle of the 1933–34 season, Chapman died of pneumonia, his work was left to Joe Shaw and George Allison, who saw out a hat-trick with the 1933–34 and 1934–35 titles, won the 1936 FA Cup and 1937–38 title. World War II meant The Football League was suspended for seven years, but Arsenal returned to win it in the second post-war season, 1947–48; this was Tom Whittaker's first season as manager, after his promotion to succeed Allison, the club had equalled the champions of England record.
They won a third FA Cup in 1950, won a record-breaking seven
UEFA Europa League
The UEFA Europa League is an annual football club competition organised by UEFA since 1971 for eligible European football clubs. Clubs qualify for the competition based on their performance in their national leagues and cup competitions, it is the second-tier competition of European club football, ranking below the UEFA Champions League. Called the UEFA Cup, the competition has been known as the UEFA Europa League since the 2009–10 season, following a change in format. For UEFA footballing records purposes, the UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League are considered the same competition, with the change of name being a rebranding. In 1999, the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup was merged with the UEFA Cup. For the 2004–05 competition a group stage was added prior to the knockout phase; the 2009 re-branding included a merge with the UEFA Intertoto Cup, producing an enlarged competition format, with an expanded group stage and a change in qualifying criteria. The winner of the UEFA Europa League qualifies for the UEFA Super Cup and, since the 2014–15 season, the following season's UEFA Champions League, entering at the group stage.
The title has been won by 28 clubs. The most successful club in the competition is Sevilla, with five titles; the current champions are Atlético Madrid, after defeating Marseille in the final to win the 2017–18 UEFA Europa League. The UEFA Cup was preceded by the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, a European football competition played between 1955 and 1971; the competition grew from 11 teams during the first cup to 64 teams by the last cup, played in 1970–71. It had become so important on the European football scene that in the end it was taken over by UEFA and relaunched the following season as the UEFA Cup; the UEFA Cup was first played in the 1971–72 season, with an all-English final of Wolverhampton Wanderers against Tottenham Hotspur, with Spurs taking the first honours. The title was retained by another English club, Liverpool, in 1973, who defeated Borussia Mönchengladbach in the final. Borussia would win the competition in 1975 and 1979, reach the final again in 1980. Feyenoord Rotterdam won the cup in 1974 after defeating Tottenham Hotspur with 4-2 in aggregate.
Liverpool won the competition for the second time in 1976 after defeating Club Brugge in the final. During the 1980s, IFK Göteborg and Real Madrid won the competition twice each, with Anderlecht reaching two consecutive finals, winning in 1983 and losing to Tottenham Hotspur in 1984; the year 1989 saw the commencement of the Italian clubs' domination, when Diego Maradona's Napoli defeated Stuttgart. The 1990s started with two all-Italian finals, in 1992, Torino lost the final to Ajax on the away goals rule. Juventus won the competition for a third time in 1993 and Internazionale kept the cup in Italy the following year; the year 1995 saw a third all-Italian final, with Parma proving their consistency, after two consecutive Cup Winners' Cup finals. The only final with no Italians during that decade was in 1996. Internazionale reached the final the following two years, losing in 1997 to Schalke 04 on penalties, winning yet another all-Italian final in 1998, taking home the cup for the third time in only eight years.
Parma won the cup in 1999. Liverpool won the competition for the third time in 2001. In 2002 Feyenoord Rotterdam won it for the 2nd time in the club history by defeating Borussia Dortmund during the final in their own stadium, Stadion Feijenoord in Rotterdam with 3-2. Porto triumphed with the latter against Portuguese team Braga. In 2004, the cup returned to Spain with Valencia being victorious, Sevilla succeeded on two consecutive occasions in 2006 and 2007, the latter in a final against fellow Spaniards Espanyol. Either side of Sevilla's success, two Russian teams, CSKA Moscow in 2005 and Zenit Saint Petersburg in 2008, had their glory and yet another former Soviet club, Ukraine's Shakhtar Donetsk, won in 2009. Atlético Madrid would themselves win twice in three seasons, in 2010 and 2012, the latter in another all-Spanish final. In 2013, Chelsea would become the first Champions League holders to win the UEFA Cup/Europa League the following year. In 2014, Sevilla won their third cup in eight years after defeating Benfica on penalties.
Just one year in 2015, Sevilla won their fourth UEFA Cup/Europa League and, in an unprecedented feat, they defended their title a third year in a row beating Liverpool FC in the 2016 final, making Sevilla FC the most successful team in the history of the competition with 5 titles. Since the 2009–10 season, the competition has been known as the UEFA Europa League. At the same time, the UEFA Intertoto Cup, UEFA's third-tier competition, was discontinued and merged into the new Europa League. UEFA had considered adding a third-tier competition since at least 2015, believing that a bottom-level tournament could act as a means of giving clubs from lower-ranked UEFA member countries to have a chance of progressing to the stages beyond the stages they traditionally would be eliminated in the Champions League and Europa League. In mid-2018 talk of an announcement intensified, with news sources claiming an agreement had been reached for the competition to be launched and that the 48-team Europa League group stage would be split into two, with the lower-half forming the nucleus of what would be the new event.
On 2 December 2018, UEFA announced that the competition – provisionally known as "Europa League 2" or just "UEL2" – was to be launched as part of the 2021–24 three-year competition cycle, with UEFA announcing that the new tournament would bring "more matches for more clubs and more
José Mário dos Santos Mourinho Félix, GOIH, is a Portuguese professional football coach and former player who most served as manager of English club Manchester United. As a manager, Mourinho has won 25 major honours, making him one of the most successful managers of all time, he was named Portuguese Coach of the Century by the Portuguese Football Federation in 2015, holds the distinction of being the first coach to have spent more than £1 billion on transfers. Due to his tactical knowledge and controversial personality, what his opponents regard as an emphasis on getting results over playing beautiful football, he has drawn comparisons, by both admirers and critics, with Argentine manager Helenio Herrera, he is regarded as one of the greatest managers of all time. Following an uneventful career as a player across Portugal's football pyramid, he worked as an interpreter for Sir Bobby Robson at Sporting CP and Porto, before gaining success as an assistant at Barcelona under both Robson and his successor, Louis van Gaal.
Mourinho impressed with brief managerial periods at Benfica and União de Leiria, taking the latter to their highest league finish. He returned to Porto as head coach in 2002, winning the Primeira Liga, Taça de Portugal and UEFA Cup in his first season, followed by the UEFA Champions League the season after, the club's first European Cup title since 1987, as well as retaining the Primeira Liga title; that success earned him a move to England with Chelsea, where he won the Premier League title in each of his first two seasons, as well as the FA Cup once and the League Cup twice, before departing amid reports of a rift with club owner Roman Abramovich. In 2008, Mourinho joined Italian club Inter Milan, where he won the Serie A title in his first season, before leading the club to become the first Italian side to win the Treble in 2010, the latter making him one of five coaches to have won the European Cup with two different teams, he was the recipient of the first FIFA World Coach of the Year award in 2010.
He signed with Real Madrid, where he won the Copa del Rey in his first season and La Liga with a record points total in his second, making him the fifth coach to have won league titles in four different countries. He left Madrid in 2013, after winning only the Supercopa de España in his final season there, he returned to Chelsea, where he won another league title and League Cup, but was dismissed in 2015 after a poor run of results. He was appointed at Manchester United in 2016, where he won the UEFA Europa League and EFL Cup in his first season. Although he led the club to second place in the Premier League the following year, the club's highest league finish since 2013, he did not win any trophies, was dismissed in December 2018, midway through his third season at the club. Mourinho was born in 1963 to a large middle-class family in Setúbal, the son of José Manuel Mourinho Félix, known by the name Félix Mourinho, wife Maria Júlia Carrajola dos Santos, his father played football professionally for Os Belenenses and Vitória de Setúbal, earning one cap for Portugal in the course of his career.
His mother was a primary school teacher from an affluent background. The fall of António de Oliveira Salazar's Estado Novo regime in April 1974, led to the family losing all but a single property in nearby Palmela. Mourinho joined the Belenenses youth team. Graduating to the senior level, he played at Rio Ave and Sesimbra, he lacked the requisite pace and power to become a professional and chose to focus on becoming a football coach instead. His mother enrolled him in a business school, but Mourinho dropped out on his first day, deciding he would rather focus on sport, chose to attend the Instituto Superior de Educação Física, Technical University of Lisbon, to study sports science. After attending coaching courses held by the English and Scottish Football Associations, former Scotland manager Andy Roxburgh took note of the young Portuguese's drive and attention to detail. Mourinho sought to redefine the role of coach in football by mixing coaching theory with motivational and psychological techniques.
After leaving his job as a school coach, Mourinho looked for a path into professional management in his hometown and became youth team coach at Vitória de Setúbal in the early 1990s. He accepted the position of assistant manager at Estrela da Amadora was a scout at Ovarense. In 1992, an opportunity arose to work as a translator for a top foreign coach: Bobby Robson had been appointed as the new manager of Lisbon club Sporting CP and needed an English-speaking local coach to work as his interpreter, his presentation was on 7 July, alongside president Sousa Cintra, manager Robson and Manuel Fernandes. Mourinho began discussing tactics and coaching with Robson in his interpreting role. Robson was sacked by the club in December 1993; when Porto appointed him as their head coach, Mourinho moved with him, continuing to coach and interpret for players at the new club. The Porto team, consisting of players like Ljubinko Drulović, Rui Barros, Jorge Costa and Vítor Baía, went on to dominate Portuguese football the following years.
With Robson as head coach and Mourinho as his assistant, Porto reached the 1993–94 UEFA Champions League semi-finals, won the 1993–94 Taça de Portugal, the 1994–95 and 1995–96 Portuguese championship, the 1994, 1995 and 1996 Portuguese Super Cup, the latter with a 5–0 victory over arch-rivals