In Thailand, Almost every has been played football or involved in football. The reason is most of school in Thailand are teaching football as a main sport or organizing football competition in school not even when they are child, but it is happened until high school or college. Therefore, It is not surprising that why Football is becoming the most popular sport in Thailand. However, foreign league is more popular than Thai League themselves especially the English Premier League even there are Serie A from Italy or La Liga from Spain, but Premier League still dominated the Thai football society.

Origin of football

Football or it can be called soccer is the ball game sport consists of 11 players each team. The basic concept is competitors are trying to score a goal the opposite team to receive a point by using any part of body except the hand, but the one player from their team who is goalkeeper can use hand for defending from conceded a goal.

There are different histories to explain about the origin of football. It has an ancient history in Ancient Greece and Rome, China, or even old Mesoamericans. But the initiative of modern football that has a concept of football rule was started in British. The folk football was first played in the rural or local town in England with a minimum of rules that they were created by themselves to prohibit violent and maintain the football game. Moreover, in the winter, the football game is mostly played in public school between residences house with their own rules. Then, they want to organize the rule as a standard, so they formed Football Association (FA) to produce the printed rule of football and control every organized game.

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English professional football organization

After the English football competition and organization has been developed over the time, the first English professional football league has formed in 1888, with the single division of 12 clubs participate in. Afterwards, there is a more division for English football league such as second division and third division to create a promotion and relegation system. However, the establishment of English football league came with golden era of Serie A in Italy.

Approaching Thailand

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The English Football League did not become popular in Thailand at first, because it is a golden era of Serie A in Italy which their league is full of superstar players. This makes Thai television company bought a license broadcast of Serie A in 1986 because of their popular trend. Even if Serie A was more popular than English Football League but the English League was more engage and more connect to the Thai population. There are two factors why English football is more involve Thai people than Italian football.

The Relationship

From the Main Stand interview, Noppanan Srisorn, one of the famous columnists and commentary in Thailand.

“English football came in Thailand long time ago and before Italian football even Italian football has a live broadcast first. Before, English football came in. It was come through at the end of the BBC news clip. There will be highlights of English football division 1 (The league before Premier league) added all along. When people watch it commonly, they start to get interested in both the football league and football FA cup.” He said.

From his words, we can see that BBC has created a relationship between Thai people and English league before Serie A. It makes English football become attractive and fascinating even despite the English football league broadcasting did not come in Thailand Yet.

The Language

In the past, magazine and newspaper are the main media for receive new information. In Thailand, most of the international sport news are English football because of the language. For Thai population, they studied English as a second language, then it is easier for the journalist at that time to translate the English football than translate the Italian football which is the Italian language that they never studied before.

Consequently, when Thai people read the newspaper, they will see the news about English football more than Italian football besides, English football player names are easier pronounced by Thai people which make they can recognize the name and talk to each other.

Time zone

English Football mostly play on Saturday, 3 PM which is around 9 PM in Thai time zone. 9 PM in Thailand is like the rest time of them and it is the time for entertainment thing. Unlike other league which their football match mostly starts at 9 or 10 PM in their time zone. It is around 2-3 AM in Thailand, it is a bedtime for them.

From These factors, the information and feeling that they have received from news or highlights changing their behavior and their perception of English football which is a starting point of English football community in Thailand that they can exchange information and emotion. It makes English league have advantage over Italian league, as some big clubs from English football league become satisfied for Thai audience that make the English football community bigger.

But the reputation is not only coming from these two factors, but it also comes from the broadcasting media in Thailand which is the rise of premier league.

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Rise of Premier League

people watching soccer game
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The English football has changed into Premier League because in that time football is not become the professionalism yet. The players in the league are mainly the working-class and some teams expelled by using the professional player and later accepted by FA in a year later. That make league become more modernization and systematically organized. However, the football teams did not get much profit from that period. They only get some profits by the reward from competition to gradual develop and enhance the clubs.

So, they want to make more profit from football league to drive football by capital and creating more product. Following decision of clubs, they are break away from English Football League which was found in 1888. They have established a new league name “Premier League” to get advantage from lucrative broadcasting football match in U.K. and around the world. They changed the principle into English football league system and later organized the European cup which is the knockout tournament which is only play by the domestic European league only and there are only four clubs from Premier League to qualify for UEFA Champion League.

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Overwhelming in Thailand

As evidence in Approach in Thailand paragraph that English football try to create engagement with people Thailand before the broadcasting was come. So, when the television company provided live broadcasting in Thailand. It was excessive interested in Thailand. Moreover, when Premier League gain more revenue from selling product and immense money from broadcasting license. Meanwhile, the situation in Serie A is not quite well because of economic crisis in Italy. Causing famous team in Italy to lose their superstar players because they cannot pay their wage, to the point of some clubs was fined to relegated and became bankruptcy.

For that reason, Premier League can buy not only superstar players but also famous coach to the league. Serie A which should be a competing league for Premier League are less famous and changing Premier League to a number one football league. Moreover, the Premier League also receive the investment from the foreigner making it develop further than others league. Result in people still waiting to watch match every weekend directly from broadcasting in television in the past.

Engage with people

Even though, Premier League are the most popular in Thailand and the world due to the Premier League Fan Summary statistics. But in order to maintain the popularity the teams and also Premier League has to engage with fan to remain the famous as a number one league in the world. However, the success is also the key to seek for new fans and new audiences.

For example, Liverpool F.C., This club is the professional football club in Liverpool. They are the Premier League Champion in 2019-2020 season and UEFA Champion League in 2018-2019 season. This club is one of football teams that has most fans. Although the situation in the team is quite bad until 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 season, but why they still have the fan supports. The reason is that they are the one of the most successful teams in 1980-2000 period when the football match is broadly broadcasting around. Therefore, Liverpool F.C. has gain a lot of supporters in the past and still has a lot of fans nowadays. They engage the fans by selling merchandise, football stadium tour and have world tour to engage almost their football fans.

Thailand and Premier League

After we have mentioned about the reason why Premier League soccer is so popular in Thailand, it is because of the language, the connections, the people. Making Premiere League become very famous in Thailand and also the most watched league in Thailand. Thus, We have to all agree that Premier League is desirable to be the most popular league in the world due to the marketing and organizing that it is not only promote to Thailand but also across the world.

Reference:

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