How Much Work Goes Into Compiling The Premier League Fixtures ?
Wednesday, 12th Jun 2019 08:37
The wait is nearly over, but tomorrow is the day that it comes to an end and the Premier League fixture list is announced, but how much work goes into compiling these fixtures ? Read on and find out.
Saints fans along with those of every other club spend a month or so in at the end of every season, after 11 months of knowing whom their team is playing and where they might be on any given weekend, suddenly they have a period of uncertainty and can't plan anything unless the date coincides with a vital fixture.
That changes tomorrow because at 9am on Thursday 13th June the Premier League fixtures are released.
Most supporters don't realise the actual planning that has to go into these fixtures and how difficult it is to compile them, having attended a presentation at the Premier League offices in London it is eyeopening.
The Premier League themselves want to avoid repetition so rather than take the easy step and merely put a carbon copy of the previous years fixtures out, they have to start from scratch and mix it around every year.
Work starts before the previous season is even ended, by the end of February the PL will know that approaching half the clubs are already safe from relegation or virtually there, by the start of April that will have narrowed down to perhaps 4 or 5 maybe 6 at a push and some may already be down as in this season.
By now there will be a blueprint in place and then the PL will ask all those concerned their opinions.
Firstly the clubs themselves inform the PL of any dates that they might not want to play at home, that can be for many reasons, sometimes because ground improvements won't be completed in time so they want to be away at the start of the season, but also for local events for instance Chelsea will usually be away on the weekend of the Notting Hill Canrnival.
Then the police get their say and they may request certain fixtures avoid certain dates.
A first draft will then be prepared, this draft will be circulated to not only the clubs but the Football League and the Police, they will look at where risk fixtures may clash, for instance Liverpool & Manchester United will rarely play a London club on the same day. Likewise Leeds going to West Brom and United at Villa would be one to avoid.
Similarly it's not just the actual games but the transport hubs on the rail network are also looked at, things like Millwall & West Ham both having to go out of Euston may see a fixture change, likewise the Police will look at Manchester & Birmingham to see who might be going through these stations at the same time and whether this needs to be changed
So the first draft is often altered, hence all of the fake stories that appear about this time about who we might play on the opening day, given the sheer number of people who will have seen the first draft, it is not surprising that with a day or so to go someone near to the clubs might leak what they know, but the opening day fixtures are probably the most changed due to the aforementioned stadium work issues etc adding to the normal reasons.
But tomorrow we get the definitive version, well almost as because we all know, of the 10 fixtures for every weekend as many as 5 sometimes 6 will be moved for TV.
Photo: Action Images
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