The 2012/13 season makes it 20 years since the Premier League was founded in February 1992.

The 2012/13 season makes it 20 years since the Premier League was founded in February 1992.

A £304 million contract with BskyB and BBC was signed and a new breakaway league was born.  Sadly for fans it meant an end to any top-level live games being broadcast on the TV box, well, except for sky subscribers who had one of those satellite dishes on the side of their home which, in 1992, were the metaphoric size of Mourinho’s head.

Since then the league, and top flight football as we know, it has changed almost beyond recognition as the Premier League negotiates its own broadcasting deals and shares it among 20 clubs instead of all leagues.

Of the 22 teams who originally formed the league (yes 22 not 20), only seven have avoided the drop for the last 20 years.  Furthermore of those teams who have been relegated, a staggering six clubs have stared into the black hole of administration: Ipswich, Coventry City, Southampton, Leeds, Crystal Palace, and Sheffield Wednesday.

For one club, the oblivion of administration became a reality in 2004 when Wimbledon FC were dissolved four years after being relegated from the Premier League. The Crazy Gang, the famous 1988 FA Cup winners against Liverpool, were no more.

The loss of Wimbledon FC — although relaunched as MK Dons and relocated to Milton Keynes — should have been a wake up call to fans of the beautiful game.

Whilst arguably the club had not faced, on paper anyway, the fate suffered by Aldershot and Maidstone United — which in 1992 became the most recent club to be forced out of the football league because of bankruptcy — Wimbledon became the most high profiled in the English game to suffer.

Similar troubles have plagued Portsmouth, the FA cup winners 20 years after the Crazy Gang, in 2008 enjoyed a seven year spell in the Premier League.

The club’s fate looked doomed when in July this year a note on the official website said the club would fold if high earners didn’t leave. They did and Pompey continue to survive, with hopes of a fan driven takeover looking increasingly likely.

To counter the issue of clubs hitting financial oblivion upon relegation the league introduced parachute payments. Recently a focal point of anger from Barnsley manager Keith Hill who claimed the £48m payment ‘rewards failure’ and provides an unfair advantage for those relegated from the league to bounce back…I can see his point.

But the real reason for this metaphoric arm round the shoulder from the Premier League — who paye £16m for the first two seasons followed by a further two £8m payments per season — is there to stop clubs all following in Wimbledon, Maidstone United and Portsmouth footsteps.

But ask anyone in the offices of the Premier League and they will tell you the idea of damaging the game is utter rubbish; partly because the figures hold up. Between 1992 and 2008, revenues for the top clubs grew at a compound annual rate of 16 per cent, compared with 5.4 per cent for the UK economy as a whole — basically the return on investment was whopping.

The Premier League is no longer an English league solely of interest to English fans. According to research by Deloitte, in 2010/2011 the league generated more than £2bn and recorded the highest revenue growth of any of the big five leagues; the Bundesliga was the second highest with €620m. Yes just re-read those figures…

Whilst the rest of the country is gripped by double-dip recession, footballers’ wages continue to strike a debate. The combined total of Premier clubs amounted to almost £1.6bn — making almost 70 per cent of revenue being spent on paying players.

Deloitte found that for eight consecutive seasons Chelsea have topped the wages table paying a combined £191m, with Manchester City (£174m) next, £21m greater than the third highest spender Manchester United (£153m).

Vastly overshadowing the wages paid on the continent.

But whilst the money has changed the game forever, it doesn’t seem to be putting fans off.

Broadcasting revenue (13 per cent) and commercial revenues (18 per cent) have both increased, whilst attendance figures have remained above 90 per cent for 15 consecutive seasons — with last season seeing an average attendance of 34,628 per game.

Rather impressive devotion from fans when ticket prices have practically doubled since the Premier League was formed in 1992, with seats at Arsenal increasing from £476 to over £985, and Old Trafford tickets surging from £280 to over £530.

But with 15 of 20 titles being shared between the two club’s during the league’s formation neither venue has lacked excitement over the years.

The globally appeal and money in the game has seen a media debate on the damaging affect of foreign players. When the Premier League was formed, just 11 players were fielded in the starting teams for the opening fixture.

Boxing day 1999 saw Chelsea field an entirely foreign starting 11 which London rivals Arsenal bettered on Valentines Day in 2005 by naming an entirely foreign 16-man squad.

As of 2012 the average Premier League squad has 16 foreign players and less than 35 per cent of players in the top-tier being English; compared to 70 per cent in League Two.

But then the England national team have hardly got worse since 1992.

To top it all off, just when it seemed the Premier League had given fans everything; a four minute hat-trick, a season winning only one game (Derby 2007/2008), a season not losing a game (Arsenal 2003/2004), and that Cantona kick the closure to last season’s Premier League was almost written for the big screen.

Manchester United appeared to have secured the title after rivals Manchester City trailed 1-2 to QPR heading into the time added on. As fans poured out of the ground, switched off radios and headed to the bar to drown their sorrows, goals from Edin Dzeko and Sergio Aguero turned the title chopper around with almost the last kick of the game.

But whilst the City fans were celebrating getting their first Premier League title, a stones throw from Manchester, former league champions Blackburn became the latest club to be relegated from the top-tier.

So be warned City…