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Premier League 2010/2011 Discussion


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Bit bored at work, so thought I'd kick the new thread off in anticpation of the fixtures coming out on Thursday. I love fixtures day. A million and one plans made and unmade amidst the fine-toothcombing of every game on the sheet.


Any particular key ones for you guys this season? I'm getting married in November, so at the moment I'd bet my house on Sunderland/Newcastle being that day, not to mention my subsequent honeymoon and the endless parade of stag do's I'm going on over the next year or so getting in the way of fixtures.


I really enjoyed the first day of the season parked on my fat arse with Stelling and Co last season, so I hope we're away again for the first day. Would also love us to follow the usual tradition of being at home on Boxing Day, just because I'll be able to make it. Normally it's a tricky one.


Preferred dates/plans etc? Discuss.

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Last season we had the anticipation of our first top flight meeting with Burnley since the 60's so that was exciting, 6 points, relagation and a year down the line hopefully we'll never have to see them again!


This season, obviously Blackpool away stands out, hopefully we'll get them early or late in the season when the weather is decent!


Apart from that, also welcome back Newcastle as it's a top day out up there and always have a good laugh.


Bring it on!!

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I'm hoping that Villa get a bit of luck and have an easier December for the first time in three or four years. We've been killed having to play Chelsea, Liverpool, Man Utd and Arsenal in December plus it ruins my Christmas un all. So yeah, that's my main hope.

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Well, it'll be nice to look up the Premiership fixtures again! I hope we have a Home game first for a change. An away day would be another better day out but i'd rather have a ''winnable'' home game to get us up and running well.


Assume we'll be away on boxing day as it has been for the past 300 years, and away on the last day which will be frustrating, especially Boxing Day.


Obviously looking for Mackems game goes without saying, but i'm hoping we have Blackpool away in August on a weekend, we were robbed of that last season when it was on a Tuesday, so hopefully it works out this season!


Other than wanting a winnable Home game to start, I wouldnt mind getting Man Utd and Chelsea out the way early, plus you have half a chance of getting a result off them early on.


We'll see, can't wait for them to come out now. Just a shame its still over a Month and a half wait from when they come out to kick off!

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Does anyone know how the fixture lists are actually put together? I've always wondered about that.


Everyone will be keeping an eye out for Blackpool's opening fixture of course, to see where their fairytale season will take them first.

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Good article on safc.com about how the fixtures are put together

he work behind the fixtures

With the 2010-11 fixtures out tomorrow, Glenn Thompson of Atos Origin reveals just how the lists are compiled.


The release of the new fixture lists is a key date in the footballing calendar for all supporters, and the culmination of weeks of hard work behind the scenes.

Glenn Thompson of Atos Origin is the man responsible for producing the fixture lists for all 20 clubs in the Barclays Premier League, plus the 72 clubs which make up the three divisions of the Npower Football League.

It's a huge task for Thompson, who is tasked with feeding the fixture information into the famous fixture computer bemoaned by managers and fans around the country.

But it isn't just a case of inputting team details and waiting for the computer to crunch the numbers. Thompson and his team have to cram weeks of work into the short window following the play-off finals and the release of the new season's fixtures.

Then he must win approval from the boards of both leagues before publishing the lists.

"Our work begins in earnest at the start of the year; that is when we start to look at how we are going to sequence the games for the season," Thompson said.


"I will occasionally go back to The Football League and The Premier League and see if we can change a couple of midweek matches, that then gets fed back into the process.


"I will spend roughly ten days sequencing the games into a mathematical formula, which is then approved by The Football League and The Premier League.

"There are a set of rules that are drawn up by both leagues that we aim to satisfy. For example, no-one will play more than two home or away games in a row; for every five games, three are at home, two are away or vice versa.


We try to balance the number of midweek matches so if a team has ten games, five are at home and five away, if we can't do that we'll try and make it six-four or vice-versa. We try to adhere to the rules to ensure the fixtures come out as fair to all clubs as possible.

"I might come up with the fixtures but it is The Premier League and The Football League that have the final say - they can knock back anything I give them.


"It is nerve-wracking attending meetings with a set of fixtures, you turn up hopefully having followed most of the rules, aware of a few clashes and hope they won't send me straight back to work on them again."

There are many diffferent criteria which must be incorporated into the lists. Boxing Day games are always scheduled locally where possible due to the lack of public transport.

Local rivalries have to be taken into account, as do requests from the Police and clubs themselves, who can make specific requests. These club requests, though, are not guaranteed to be borne out in the final fixture lists.

Thompson continued: "Most years we meet 80% of all date requests that the clubs put in. Where pairings are important we are hitting 95%+. We do get reports from the system that shows how we are doing in respect of the clubs wishes for date requests and pairings.

"There are a number of pairings that are fairly obvious, the likes of Sheffield Wednesday can't be at home on the same time as Sheffield United. You then start looking at those relationships from a wider angle, for example this season, when West Ham are at home it requires Dagenham & Redbridge, and where possible Leyton Orient to be away.

"Southend United like to be opposite West Ham because it affects their support but Southend United have to pair with Colchester United for Essex Police reasons and Colchester United have to pair with Ipswich Town due to shared stewards. Also, for police reasons Ipswich have to pair with Norwich City.


"In addition to this, Tottenham Hotspur also like to be opposite West Ham United in the Premier League so that brings Arsenal into the mix, which affects Barnet. That is just one example and taking it to the extremes, shows that the fixtures for eleven clubs are linked together to varying degrees.

"Obviously there are some pairings that have different levels of importance and the main ones have to take precedence. We can't satisfy everyone, all of the time. The whole fixture process is a compromise across all 92 clubs and we can't show any favouritism to any particular club. You have to be fair - the integrity of the process is very important.

"A lot of effort goes into them and you have tight deadlines to work to, if I have a problem I can't expect the leagues to delay publication by a week. If you had six months to do this, you may be able to come up with something a bit better but you have a finite amount of time. Therefore you come up with the best solution you can, in the time you have got to do this."

Fans, players and managers around the country will be looking forward to seeing the fruits of his labours

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A couple of years ago the BBC posted an long article about the fixtures being put together. "How interesting", I mused, before being utterly bored to tears reading it. The fixture compliers make no secret of just what an administration headache the whole thing is, stripping it of all the fun we imagine the job to be. The shithouses.

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Not really too chuffed with ours, mainly because of my own packed calendar. I'll be missing Man Utd at Home because of a mate's wedding, as well as a minimum of two for my own and honeymoon. Still, here for both derbies though, thats a relief. Glad to be away on the last day of the season, hope West Ham isn't a relegation six-pointer though, we get fuck all down there. Brum at home on the first day is the kind of middle of the road starter I like to see. It means at least (fingers crossed) we won't get fucking shat on, which is good for early season morale.


Edit: First fixtures:


Saturday, 14 August 2010

Aston Villa v West Ham, 15:00

Blackburn v Everton, 15:00

Blackpool v Wigan, 15:00

Bolton v Fulham, 15:00

Chelsea v West Brom, 15:00

Liverpool v Arsenal, 15:00

Man Utd v Newcastle, 15:00

Sunderland v Birmingham, 15:00

Tottenham v Man City, 15:00

Wolverhampton v Stoke, 15:00

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