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Why are Tottenham and Newcastle playing a friendly game three days after the Premier League ended?

With Euro 2024 and the 2024 Copa América on the horizon, the timing and venue - Australia - of the game has been criticised.

With Euro 2024 and the 2024 Copa América on the horizon, the timing and venue - Australia - of the game has been criticised.

Pre-season friendlies have been a staple of the soccer diet for as long as we can remember, but Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle United are playing a lesser-spotted end-of-season friendly on Wednesday (22 May), only three days after the end of the 2023/24 Premier League campaign. The timing, of course, is one issue for many, but so too is the venue - Melbourne Cricket Ground in Australia.

Fast turnaround for Spurs and Newcastle

With both teams having played their last league matches on Sunday, the flight time between London and Melbourne (around 22 hours) means they will have had to rush home, pack their suitcases and pick up their passports immediately after the full-time whistle at the weekend.

While the game is a homecoming of sorts for Spurs’ Australian manager Ange Postecoglu, there is no doubting why they have chosen to squeeze one more game in, whatever the cost. It seems the chance to gain additional exposure in a foreign market and, of course, bucketloads of money was just too good to turn down.

Too many games? When do Euro 2024 and the 2024 Copa América start?

Despite the 2024 European Championship (14 June) and the 2024 Copa América (20 June) being just around the corner, the likes of Kieran Trippier, Alexander Isak, James Maddison, and Micky van de Ven, who will expect to play in the former tournament, have made the trip, as has Bruno Guimaraes, who will feature in the latter. Arguably not ideal preparation for two of the biggest international tournaments in the sport.

Spurs talisman Heung-Min Son is also in Australia, where Newcastle will play a second match against an Australian A-League All-Star team.

Several elite players have voiced their concerns in recent years over the number of games they are now being asked to play, which will only increase further with the expansion of the FIFA World Cup and Champions League, as well as the creation of the FIFA Club World Cup.