15 Aug 2013 17:07:55
Eds (or anyone else who could shine some light on the matter):

If the premier league fixtures really are random (and I'm not implying that they're not), is there any reason why they insist on producing the fixture lists behind closed doors? Would it not be feasible to do it on a live TV broadcast, as they do with cup drawers etc.

It's something I have wandered about for a few years now.

Thanks {Ed007's Note - I suspect it is done like that because it is a long and very boring process. It's not just drawing out fixtures and that's it, there are other factors that need to be taken into account i.e. travelling rival fans clashing (2 London teams playing the 2 Manchester teams in Manchester at the same time). Anyone else know more about it than me?}

1.) 15 Aug 2013
I saw an article about it somewhere. They also have to take into account the football league as the police insist on certain groups of clubs not playing at home on the same day regardless of their division. I'm pretty sure it is all produced by one bloke on a spreadsheet!


2.) 15 Aug 2013
+ if the PL want to fix anything then the obvious one for me is to avoid big games before and after the European weeks, and preferably have the sides in Europe playing at home either side of Europe.


3.) 15 Aug 2013
I didn't think it was completely random? - don't they put together big weekends themselves? - hence why every year the big 4 play each other on the same day.

Everything you need to know.


The Moon. {Ed007's Note - Cheers Moon.}

4.) 15 Aug 2013
I remember reading about it in 442 magazine a while back. There is 1 guy that does it. Ed is right that there are lots of factors to consider


5.) 15 Aug 2013
Read an article about it a few years bag. Many factors are taken into account. European matches, domestic cup draws, 2 big clubs in close proximity not playing home same time due to policing etc, distance teams and fans have to travel to matches such as not going to send spurs to Newcastle one week and then Sunderland the next. All these factors and more are loaded and one bloke runs an algorithm to determine the fixture list. So the draw as such is only random to a small degree. Obviously the draw will be different each year due to relegation/promotion and cup qualification

6.) 15 Aug 2013
Ed007 - a while ago I saw an interview with a Football League rep who basically said they have an initial random-generation type process and then run a manual process swapping fixtures to avoid the sort of clashes you're talking about. The Premier League are always disconcertingly vague when they talk about the fixture setting process, but I wouldn't be surprised if it's similar. There's so many complexities they have to consider (e.g. trying to avoid Liverpool or Everton playing at home on Grand National day) that it's hard to imagine an organisation like the Premier League would have managed to fully automate it.

It is a process that needs more transparency.

7.) 15 Aug 2013
It would be great if we could have a DERBY DAY where teams play their local rivals ( if in the same division ) on the same day.

8.) 16 Aug 2013
A computer program, does the lot, prem, fl the lot, takes the computer 4 hours to do it

9.) 16 Aug 2013
I think - unless it's changed it's the other way round there are a set of initial constraints around teams like Everton & Liverpool & City and United not playing at home on the same weekend/day, and then there are calendar conditions, games on boxing day/new years day tend to be weighted so that fixtures are within a certain prolixity. Who knows what else they weight, then they hit the button, look for anomalies and manually fix anything which was unresolvable. It's definitely not random and how they weight and nudge certain fixtures is a pretty close guarded secret. There's definitely an argument to say the weighting encourage certain outcomes. Remember then the TV companies then get their say and can ask for fixture adjustments, moving games from saturday to Sunday to create the Super sunday scenarios etc.