For a long time, football did not lose its leading position among other sports tournaments. It became definition of an exciting game.
Among many other terms and rules in the todays football leagues and international organizations like FIFA and UEFA the questions of dimensions of the field is always present in every league and competition. Are there standards that determine the size of a football field, the differences in different types of competitions and leagues, and what are the rules for setting them up?
This is also the case for the Premier League, where the difference in the size of the pitches is really huge, some teams play in many old stadiums built in the last century, while others play in ultra-modern new stadiums equipped with the latest technology and pitches.
So, in order to reduce the gap and set some standards the English Football Federation made a rule: “K.15. – Unless otherwise permitted by the Board, in League Matches the length of the pitch shall be 105 metres and its breadth 68 metres,” and K.16. – “The Board shall only give permission to a Club for the dimensions of its pitch to be other than as set out in Rule K.15 if it is impossible for it to comply with Rule K.15 due to the nature of the construction of its Stadium”.
In season 2022/23 most of the teams are using these dimensions on their pitches, but there are several who deviate from this rule. It may come as surprise but the biggest football pitch in the Premier League is the one on City Ground in Nottingham, the home of Nottingham Forrest with 105,2 metres length and 71.3 metres width.
When it comes to the smallest fields, Fulham’s stadium Craven Cottage is the smallest in the league with 100 metres length and 65 metres width. It’s normal as this stadium was built since 1906, when the first real tribune was built. The grandstand, currently named after John Haynes, was designed by Archibald Leech and had a distinctive red brick facade. The tribune was accompanied by a pavilion, which today represents the characteristic cottage.
Craven Cottage remained one of the smallest stadiums in the Premier League and as a result Fulham are expanding the existing stands even further so they can have bigger field and more capacity.
Everton’s Goodison Park has dimensions of 100.48 metres length and 68 metres width. Goodison Park was officially opened on 24 August 1892 with an athletics competition. It was the first major stadium built in England. Today, Everton is a stable Premier League team, with great fans. Goodison Park is their fortress, their home, but the team decided it was time to move on and Everton are now building a new ultra-modern stadium on the water.
Selhurst Park is the home of Crystal Palace and with its field dimensions this stadium is among the smallest in the history of Premier League with length of 101 metres and 68 metres width. The stadium (designed by Scottish architect Archibald Leech) was built for around £30,000, and was officially opened by the Mayor of London on 30 August 1924. At that time, there was only one tribune (today’s main tribune), but it was unfinished.
Another stadium from Liverpool is on this list, the legendary Anfield Road. Its length is 101 metres and width of 68 metres Anfield was built in 1884, but was initially leased to Everton. Everton moved out of Anfield after a licensing dispute in 1891, and a year later Liverpool began using the stadium and the rest is history.
Stamford Bridge is an imposing structure that inspires respect with its size. So is Chelsea, a great club with a great tradition. Stamford Bridge underwent an almost complete facelift in 1905 and was then offered to Fulham. Fulham rejected the offer and the newly created club Chelsea moved in instead. Today this is one of the most recognisiable stadiums in the league but also one of the stadiums with smallest fields with length of 103.3 metres and width of 67.7 metres.
Among the history in the Premier League there were many more legendary stadiums with small fields as the former home of West Ham United Upton Park with 100.5 metres length and 64 metres width, Tottenham’s White Hart Lane with 100.5 metres length and 66 metres width.
Stoke City used the smallest possible dimensions (100x74m) on their stadium Britannia, which helped their specific game. Based on great jumpers and relying on physical strength and an additional factor was the use of the thrown in as an offensive weapon – with Rory Delap taking the farthest throw in the league and Ryan Shotton being almost as good,
Tony Pulis’ team scored seventeen goals with assists from the thrown in the league, which is unheard of in the top-level football. Clearly, the narrow field helps significantly with this tactic as well.
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