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Farmers League, Anyone?

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The German Bundesliga and the French Ligue 1 are one of the top five European leagues across the world. But very often, they have been referred to as the ‘FARMERS LEAGUE’. Why and how did that happen?

The French Ligue 1 has always been branded as a one-horse league because of its nature where not more than one club compete for the title. It has been dubbed the ‘Farmers League’ buy many over enthusiastic fans because of the shoratge of quality that is produced every week.

Paris Saint-Germain have been winning the league on a canter, except on a couple of occasion where Monaco and Lille pipped them to the title. PSG have won the last nine Ligue 1 titles out of a possible 11 over the last decade.

After Lille won the Ligue 1 title in 2020-21, PSG went ahead and hired their manager Christophe Galtier. Although, Ligue 1 isn’t the only top-flight league when it comes to steamrolling towards the title. Enter Bundesliga



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Bayern in Bundesliga have now won the league 11 times in a row after pipping Dortmund to the title on the final day in the 22/23 season. Their strategy of targeting the best players from the rest of the Bundesliga has always been successful. But where did the ‘Farmers League’ term originate from? FootTheBall explains.

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What is a ‘Farmers League’?

The phrase ‘Farmers League’ was brought up by fans of rival leagues to portray a certain league in a funny manner with the added spice of banter in it.


what is a farmers league
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The meaning of the phrase is quite simple. The fans brought this term up in the literal sense that players who play in the Bundesliga or Ligue 1 take up actual ‘farming’ as their primary job and return to play football after their daily shift ends. This is in a comical way that the players from these league aren’t as good enough as the rest of Europe.

It is obviously used in a derogatory way because of the fact that these league are usually dominated by that one single team. Real life examples are clearly PSG from Ligue 1 and Bayern Munich from Bundesliga.


Why is Ligue 1 called a ‘Farmers League’?

Since the 2012-13 season, PSG have comfortably won the league on each occasion by a mile except for the two seasons in 2016-17 and 2020-21 where Monaco and Lille pipped them to the title. Since then, they have continued their dominance and they look to be dominators of France for the near future with their financial backing and talented stars.

In European football, there is this term fans use, known as “Top 5 Leagues” which includes the likes of the Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, Serie A and Ligue 1. Of these European leagues, fans accuse Ligue 1 of being a ‘farmers league’.


But things had changed in the 2019/20 season where all four of the semi-finalists in the league were from the Ligue 1 and Bundesliga. Bayern, PSG, RB Leipzig and Lyon were the last four in the competition with no English, Spanish or Italian cubs making it to the semis.

Due to this, Kylian Mbappe couldn’t resist and keep the banter to himself, where he tweeted the term ‘Farmers League’ with a clown emoji. This was a jibe towards the other top five league of Europe.


Arnold Lewis
A hardcore Chelsea fan, who is often found playing football on the weekends. He has an exceptional voice and his rendition of old Hindi classic songs will make your heart melt. He is the man with the funky hair.

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