Saturday, June 25, 2022

“You can’t please everyone”: This is how Premier League games are decided

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The Winter World Cup has resulted in Premier League clubs making more inquiries for the 2022/23 season than usual, the fixture compiler has revealed.

The campaign, which starts earlier than usual on August 6th, will be paused between November 13th and December 26th due to the tournament in Qatar and has put heavy pressure on Glenn Thompson, the man in charge of putting together the fixture list .

Thompson, who works for Atos, an international IT services company used by the Premier League, has been working on next season’s games since the beginning of the year and has had his busy schedule playing 2,036 games in the top four divisions.

Clubs are invited to send match requests in March – e.g. B. asking to be home by a certain date – and Thompson says there have been more than usual.

“The early start in both the Premier League and EFL means we’ve had more dates requests from clubs than usual,” he said ahead of the release of the 2022/23 games on Thursday.

“The different start, break and end dates between leagues have also raised some sequencing issues.”

The release of the game schedules is a focus of the summer as fans can start planning their season, but they are invariably unhappy.

There are annual allegations of conspiracy, with fans obsessed with the idea that their team were given a challenging series of games on purpose.

Thompson says if a club had problems with games last season, they would be addressed this season.

“You can’t please everyone,” he said. “It’s a cross-club compromise; There is nothing you can do to favor a club.

“There are 2,036 Premier League and Football League games over a nine month period and the ideal solution is to ensure those games can all be played as scheduled.

“If there are problems with a club’s game plans one year, you try to take that into account next year. They try to ensure that unwanted fixtures don’t happen two seasons in a row.

“If we have any problems, we might have to go back and start over to produce a different set of devices. I’m constantly reviewing the game schedules to make sure other things can be accomplished.”

There are some rules that are always followed, such as: B. Teams never have more than two home or away games scheduled in a row, rescheduled games are disregarded, and teams alternate between home and away games on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.

Thompson added: “In any five games, there should be a split of three home, two away or vice versa. A team will never play more than two home or away games in a row and wherever possible they will play for home and away FA Cup ties.

“A club will never start or finish the season with two home or two away games because it would be unfair for a team to finish two away games.

“If you’re home during the Christmas season on Boxing Day, you won’t be there on New Year’s Day or a similar date. We also try to maintain a Saturday home-away sequence throughout the season wherever possible.

“We also look at whether we have clubs from the same region traveling across the Football League and Premier League on the same train lines on the same day.

“We want to avoid bottlenecks in the rail and road network. We also tell the computer to try to minimize travel on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day or a similar date.”

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