The Premier League is arguably the biggest stage in club football, and it has made a big mark on Nigeria and the continent
The English Premier League is one of the most watched and followed competitions in the world. The English game has grown rapidly over the years because of its ingenuity.
In Nigeria, most football fans support at least one of the top teams in England. Chelsea, Manchester United, and Arsenal are some of the clubs that have the most fans in Nigeria. Soccernet.ng explores the reason for the Premier League’s dominance in Nigeria.
First off, it is just natural that Nigerians would be akin to anything English because they were colonized by the British. It would be easy to follow the league because there is no language barrier.
Also, other things have added to the allure of the English game. In 1992, the English Football League was reborn and named the Premier League. At the time, the Nigerian League was faltering, but the Premier League got better with the influx of money and investors.
Of course, the only thing that money can bring is quality. According to Reuters, there were only 13 players from outside the British Isles in the opening week of the first Premier League season in 1992. But since then, over 120 countries have been represented in the Premier League. This has given them a wider reach.
Some of the biggest names that have represented the Super Eagles have played in England. In fact, many Nigerian Arsenal fans started supporting the club as a result of Nwankwo Kanu’s move.
Chelsea gained great followership in Africa owing to their investment in African players in the early 2000s, securing the signature of Michael Essien, Didier Drogba, Mikel Obi, and Salomon Kalou.
Aside from its diversity, most of the best footballers have played in the Premier League. The Premier League has seen the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Cesc Fàbregas, Steven Gerrard, Wayne Rooney, Fernando Torres, Ryan Giggs, Frank Lampard, and Mesut Ozil.
Also, the Premier League and the clubs have paid great attention to marketing, innovations, and merchandising. With these, they have drawn the attention of football fans.
For instance, the Fantasy Premier League is a game that attracts many young football fans. Because of this game, even the least knowledgeable follow the smaller Premier League clubs.
Finally, the broadcasting is top-notch. The EPL has the best video and audio quality among the top five leagues. In fact, the clubs make the most money from broadcasting rights—over £5 million—the highest in Europe. And the money is properly spread among the 20 teams in the division.
The controversies, diverse playing patterns, and fanfare have also added to the allure of the league. With the great structure of the league, it is clear why Nigerians love it.