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I recently enjoyed watching home fixtures of Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United. Then I thought about the size of football pitch with those played in other European top tier leagues. The ones in English Premier League seem to be small when compared to the stadiums of clubs in Serie A, La-Liga and Ligue 1.

Does the size of the pitch remain the same everywhere? Also would lack of space in metropolitan areas could be a plausible reason why the pitches are small in Premier League or is there any other reason?

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    I've answered part of your question - does the pitch vary. I think your question as it stands is several different questions, and should probably be posed separately; in particular the pitch sizes vs. the why of the stadium size are very different questions (and I don't know if the 'why' is answerable, but it's definitely different).
    – Joe
    Sep 22 at 22:19
  • Thanks @ Joe for the answer. I agree it's made of three different questions. It is apparently related to each other so I framed them in one big question. If you see other European countries, they have hosted Summer and Winter Olympics in different cities. France has hosted Olympics in Chamonix, Paris and Albertville while Germany has hosted the games in Berlin and Munich. Maybe this could have led to infrastructural development and thereby larger stadiums. Any discussion on this is welcome. Sep 23 at 6:48
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    Just to be clear, this isn't a discussion forum - hence the request to limit the question to a single answerable question. (See the faq and the help center for more about how the site operates).
    – Joe
    Sep 23 at 15:46
  • I've edited this to make it just about the pitch size - if you want to ask a separate question on stadium size, please do that (but Old Trafford at least isn't small, at least in terms of capacity)
    – Philip Kendall
    Sep 25 at 8:28
  • Some pitches in Britain are built to host rugby league and union matches as well as football matches. So that would affect the dimensions of the stadium although not necessarily the pitch.
    – Neil Meyer
    Oct 11 at 10:58
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The pitch most definitely varies in size, but not terribly much. See this page from the BBC for example. England's rules are very wide - the pitch must be between 90m and 120m long, and between 50m and 100m wide (!!) - that's a big variety, though - but for major (or even mid-level) play, it's pretty close to standardized.

This page lists various Premiere league field sizes; they're in yards, so slightly larger numbers than meters, but same idea. Most are about the same size (the Category 4 UEFA size of 115x74 yards).

Most follow this regulation (see this article on dimensions that mentions the possibility of exceptions). Note though that many of the Premiere League teams have identical dimensions to the requirements - 105mx68m - and those that don't are slightly smaller.

So - most likely, they're not really all that different, in the pitch, any difference you notice is due to how the overall stadium is constructed.

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  • The FA applies the IFAB LOTG, which restrict pitches to width 45-90 metres and strictly less than the length.
    – Nij
    Sep 23 at 0:06
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I'm not sure it's that true that EPL grounds are that much smaller than European grounds, at least for the "Big Six" (and Wembley):

Stadium Club Length (m) Width (m)
Anfield Liverpool 101 68
City of Manchester Stadium Manchester City 105 68
Emirates Stadium Arsenal 105 68
Old Trafford Manchester United 105 68
Stamford Bridge Chelsea 103 68
Tottenham Hotspur Stadium Tottenham Hotspur 105 68
Wembley None / England 105 68

Of these, four (plus Wembley) are the regulation international size of 105×68m and the others aren't that much smaller - even Anfield is 96% of the area of a 105×68m field. Running down other clubs in the Premier League, the only other club I could find with a field smaller than 105×68m was Goodison Park (Everton). It is notable that all three of the "small" stadia (Anfield, Goodison Park, Stamford Bridge) are traditional stadia built well before the era of standardisation.

This is in slight contrast to the other major European clubs, all of whom have 105×68m fields:

Stadium Club Length (m) Width (m)
Allianz Arena Bayern Munich 105 68
Camp Nou Barcelona 105 68
Juventus Stadium Juventus 105 68
Metropolitano Stadium Athletico Madrid 105 68
Parc des Princes Paris Saint-Germain 105 68
San Siro A.C. Milan / Inter Milan 105 68
Santiago Bernabéu Stadium Real Madrid 105 68

(All numbers taken from the stadium pages on Wikipedia)

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For non international matches, the pitch size can vary quiet a bit. The pitch has to be a rectangle whose width can be anywhere from 45 to 90 meters, while the length can be anywhere from 90 to 120 meters. So a football pitch can almost be a square!

However, the international pitch dimensions are much stricter. The width has to be from 64 to 75 meters and length from 100 to 110 meters. So you'll notice much less variety on pitches that host international matches.

So you see pitches with varying legal sized. But specially in the EPL where many of the pitches are very old, or are in populated areas and size is a constraint (tho the variance tends to be in just a few yards/meters). Newer stadiums usually tend to be at or close to international size, so they can host international matches if need be. You can notice the same phenomenon with MLB ballparks where the stadiums come in all sorts of sizes due to space constraints.

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    I've seen it marked as 75 and 76 yards wide which translates to 68.5 and 69.5 meters. Either way, will remove that sentence as it might be misleading.
    – alamoot
    Sep 23 at 16:02

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