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19th Nov 2015

Here’s how the Match of the Day running order is decided

Tom Victor

If the team you support is rarely first on Match of the Day, it could be a good thing.

The BBC’s head of football has explained that those at risk of relegation, or top teams suffering surprise defeats, are often those to get the coveted earlier slot.

“If you don’t ever lead Match of the Day, you are safe in the Premier League and there are hundreds of millions (of pounds in television income) coming your way next year,” Mark Cole is quoted as saying in the Daily Mirror.

Cole revealed that a provisional running order tends to be decided on the Thursday before a Premier League weekend, with certain games identified as potential leads, but revealed that things can change.

“Essentially, you will have a plan in place, but then once the games happen you will move things around,” he says.

14 of the 20 teams in the Premier League have been first up on at least one occasion, and one of those to miss out – Tottenham Hotspur – had been in place as the first game before a weekend’s results forced a change of plan.

“Tottenham-Liverpool, which was Jurgen Klopp’s first game – that was top of the running order on a Thursday and Friday, but was a 0-0 game, there was much better fare around the rest of the programme and it ended up being last on the show,” Cole explains.