Wednesday, June 17, 2015

How the Premiership schedule is compiled

Who compiles the list?

The fixture list is generated by the Premier League, Football League and IT service Atos Origin. 

Is the fixture list randomly worked out?

To an extent, yes, but there are many factors to take in to account. For example, this season, the Premier League must work around the Rugby World Cup which will take place at some top-flight stadiums (King Power Stadium, Etihad Stadium, St James' Park, Villa Park) this autumn.

Once each club's requests have been considered, as well as the international calendar, the fixture computer selects which dates each team will play at home and away before randomly assigning an opponent.

What are the rules?

No club will play more than two home games or two away matches in a row - in any five matches, there must be a split of three home and two away fixtures, or vice versa.

Any team given a home fixture on Boxing Day will always play away on New Years' Day, and vice versa.

Clubs will never start or end the season with two consecutive home or away matches.

Teams will play home and then away either side of an FA Cup tie.

City rivals such as Everton and Liverpool can not play at home on the same day, such is the close proximity of the stadiums.

Do clubs have much of a say?

The Premier League can't satisfy every request but claim to fulfil 85 per cent each season.

Every club receives a letter in March asking them to confirm three things:

    Are there any dates they wish not to be at home? This is answered in conjunction with the local police.
    Which club they want to be paired with.
    Are there are any teams they do not wish to play at home on Boxing Day?

Who approves the list once the fixtures have been compiled?

Over a two-day period, representatives from Atos, the IT service who compiles the list, review the fixtures with the Premier League and Football League.

Checking club's requests, it is still possible to change fixtures during this time. However, just one change may require another 40 adjustments.

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