Twenty one years ago there was no such thing as the Premier League. Since then a tectonic shift in the world of sport has resulted in 140-odd teams from around the world competing to break into the elite league, which will expand to include a further 30 in time for the 2026 season. Among those teams are three with Leeds United. The opening of the newly expanded Premier League season is some months away but a preview has been provided in this article by Massimo Valadi, a reporter for The Times in Yorkshire who has followed the club since 1986.
Nobody really knows whether this year will be as memorable as others. After all, it has been a well-established rule of the Premier League that new arrivals inevitably miss the mark, and new entrants suffer from unfavourable scheduling.
The Premier League’s statistics office do not expect Chelsea, who started their season with an extraordinary scoreline against Burnley on Saturday, to establish a winning habit.
But the fixture list has been relatively friendly for new clubs, so far. Manchester City are still waiting for their first win and Chelsea may struggle after finding their draw in the League Cup unappealing at Old Trafford last Wednesday.
Indeed, the mooted alignment of the new fixtures means that on the same day that they open their Premier League campaign against Leicester, Newcastle and West Ham could be playing relegation-threatened sides.
In addition, there are other new boys vying for an overdue promotion to the elite top flight. Newcastle and Wolverhampton Wanderers are one place and two points away from the top flight from their respective leagues. Derby County, promoted to the top flight last season, go into Sunday’s match against Fulham in fourth place in the Championship but are a woeful 1-14 in matches where they have scored first.
This reporter will be watching all the matches on television, and will carry the news of match results and more throughout the season.
You can subscribe to the multimedia report in the What’s On section of the New York Times website.