Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Shaqiri goes undercover

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The longest round-trip in the Football League

Fans poring over the Sky Bet Football League's 2015/16 fixture list on Wednesday morning to plan their away-days for the new season should spare a thought for Carlisle supporters.

The Cumbrians are well versed in the logistics involved in following their club up and down the country, of course, but have little time to prepare or save for the Football League's longest round trip of them all - a day out on the south coast at Plymouth.

Only this time it is not a day out - more a mini holiday.

Carlisle, who launch their new campaign at Mansfield on August 8, take on Cambridge in their first home game the following Saturday and then head to Plymouth for their first midweek fixture on Tuesday, August 18.

If they choose to go by car, fans must set off early Tuesday morning as, traffic-permitting, they face a six-hour, 33-minute drive just to get there.

When they hit the M6 at the Rosehill roundabout in Penrith they face a 390-mile journey to get to Home Park in time for the 7.45pm kick-off.

If they are lucky they could be home in time for work the next day, arriving at 4.30am having covered a total of 780 miles at a fuel cost of around £70.

For those who opt not to drive, a coach trip is out of the question.

The first National Express coach is scheduled to leave Carlisle at 10am on the Tuesday morning and, after an 11-hour, 15-minute trip, will not get you into Bretonside Bus Station in Plymouth until 9.15pm.

If non-driving die-hards insist on making the trip, they will have to find a bed for the night as the first coach back to Carlisle is on Wednesday at 5.15am. That would get you back to Carlisle at 3.40pm at a cost of £75.50.

The alternative option is by train, but will leave a fan with little change out of £200 for the return ticket alone.

According to thetrainline.com, the earliest train pulls out of Carlisle at 11.11am on Tuesday morning and will get you to Plymouth in good time for kick-off at 5.42pm, at a cost of £183.30.

Should you wish to make a short break of it and stay overnight after the match to explore 'Britain's Ocean City', an open return ticket would cost £378.80.

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.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?