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Soccer

How is the Premier League fixture list compiled?

The Premier League fixtures for the 2022/23 league season have been revealed and we take a look at how they are compiled.

Kieran Quaile
Update:
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MAY 22: General view during the Premier League match between Liverpool and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Anfield on May 22, 2022 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Jack Thomas - WWFC/Wolves via Getty Images)
Jack Thomas - WWFCGetty

The 2022/23 Premier League fixtures were released on 16 June with fans discovering who their team will be playing on the opening day of the new season.

In an interview with the Premier League, fixture-list compiler Glenn Thompson, of Atos, an international IT services company, explains how it works.

When does the work on compiling the next season’s fixtures start?

“For me it is at the start of the year when I get the playing dates from the Premier League. The whole thing is built up, putting in the international dates from FIFA, then the European club competitions. Then the Football Association adds the dates for its competitions. You’re left with the dates when you can play league and League Cup matches,” he said.

“We also consult fan representatives, from the Football Supporters’ Federation, and other stakeholders, to take on board their views.

“Around March, the Premier League sends to its clubs a form asking questions such as whether there are there any dates they wish not to be at home - which is answered in conjunction with the local police - and whether there are any teams they do not wish to play at home on Boxing Day.”

How are the fixtures compiled?

“We start when we know the composition of each division, so after the last Football League playoff, which was on 29 May. We place each club in a pairing grid, which defines the dates they will be at home.

“For every date in the season, the fixture computer knows which clubs are at home and who are away and then it will mix them up randomly to determine the matches.”

Do last season’s fixtures influence the 2022/23 list at all?

“If there are issues with a club’s fixtures one year, you try to take that into account the next year. You try to ensure if there is an undesirable set of fixtures, they don’t get it two seasons in a row.”

What happens if there are any problems?

“If we have got any issues, we might have to go back and start again to produce a different set of fixtures. I’m reviewing the fixtures all the time to ensure other things can be met.

“In the 2012/13 season, for example, there was a requirement from the Metropolitan Police not to play high-profile matches until after 8 September because of the Olympics and Paralympics,” Thompson continued.

World Cup year

The 2022/23 campaign has the 2022 World Cup in Qatar slap-bang in the middle of the season.

The Premier League will have a seven-week break, with the final set of fixtures to be played on the weekend of November 12-13.

Football in England’s top flight will resume on Boxing Day and the season ends on Sunday 28 May 2023.

That means the next Premier League season will span 295 days, as opposed to the 282 in 2021/22. It will consist of 34 weekend match days, three in midweek and one on a bank holiday.

Opening weekend in Premier League

Check out the opening round of fixtures in the 2022/23 Premier League season here.

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