Preparation of the posts with season results is taking some time. While I’m intensively copying and pasting to reconfigure the data for this season, I’d like to send my beloved readers for a trip to the early days of FPL. I’ve done some research on previous seasons of FPL and this is what I’ve learned about the birth of FPL.
We live in a great time. The Universe was born 14 billion years ago (at least in its current phase). The Sun and the Earth formed some 4.5 billion years ago. A billion years later there was already some life on Earth. 200 thousand years ago, the 3.5 billion years of evolution gave rise to Homo sapiens. 150 years ago, Homo sapiens started to kick a ball under the rule of the Football Association. And finally, 12 years ago, the ultimate purpose of the Universe and the highest point of the evolution of life on Earth was achieved: Homo sapiens started to play fantasy football on fantasy.premierleague.com. Let’s take a closer look at the genesis of our favorite game and its first season.
In the beginning Fantasy Gods created the Game.
“The original game [fantasy football] was created by Andrew Wainstein in England in 1991, when he set up Fantasy League Ltd after seeing the success of American fantasy sports games in the 1980s”. (Wikipedia)
And the Game was without form, and void, and the Spirits of Fantasy Gods were hovering over newspapers.
“But bear in mind that … there was one [fantasy football game] where a newspaper printed players and their scores every Wednesday and we manually entered those details in an excel sheet to see how our teams in our mini league were doing. The bad old days!” (Jead is Dead, FISO)
And Fantasy Gods said, “Let there be site”, and there was site.
“When premierleague.com was launched in 2002, there was a need to match this launch with a high-quality fantasy game. ISM was more than up to the challenge”. (ISM)
And Fantasy Gods saw the site, and it was good. And Fantasy Gods called the site “FPL”.
The look of FPL in season 02/03 (WayBackMachine)
And Fantasy Gods said, “Let the Press Association produce points: according to their various kinds.” And the Press Association produced points.
FPL scoring in the first season (the rules that have changed since then are highlighted)
And Fantasy Gods said, “Let there be gameweeks and deadlines to separate the light from the darkness, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times” And it was so. And there was a six gameweek training period in the first FPL season. And season 02/03 consisted of only 32 gameweeks.
The first six sets of matches have been declared as Pre-Season. Points scored during these matches don’t count to your overall total and transfers can still be made at no cost. Use the Pre-Season to learn how to play Fantasy Premier League and create leagues with your friends and colleagues. The real action starts with Gameweek 1 on 21st September. (WayBackMachine)
And Fantasy Gods said, “Let there be fantasy teams, and let they prevail over real football and make United fans support City because they have their players in FPL”. And Fantasy Gods formed the first FPL team from the picks of the Pundit, and the Pundit became the first FPL manager ever and the only one who played in Pre-Season GW1 (WayBackMachine).
And Fantasy Gods said, “Let the Game teem with living creatures, and let there be swarms of dead teams too”. They blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and increase in number and join the Game from all over the world”.
And there were 5K teams after Pre-Season 3 (WayBackMachine).
And there were 10K teams after Pre-Season 4 (WayBackMachine)
And there were 27K teams after GW4 (WayBackMachine)
And there were 76K teams at the end of the season (WayBackMachine)
And Fantasy Gods said “Let there be Henry”. And they created Thierry Henry in their own image, after their likeness. (WayBackMachine)
And Fantasy Gods saw ‘Wee Wullie Winkie FC’, and smiled, and said “Let he be the winner”. And it was so.
Graeme Haddow from South Africa was the first ever FPL champion. He won FPL 02/03 with 1940 points in the 32 gameweeks that were taken into account that season. (WayBackMachine)
And Fantasy Gods saw all that they had made, and it was very good. And then they rested.