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14th Jun 2023

The man responsible for organising the Premier League fixture list explains how it work

Callum Boyle

Premier League

Glenn Thompson has been working on the fixtures since 1992

The man who has been compiling the Premier League fixture lists since 1992 has finally revealed the secrets behind how they are decided.

Glenn Thompson, who has been in charge for 31 years, has been working on some 60,000 matches since taking on the busy role and has revealed that scheduling can sometimes take a year-and-a-half to work on, with 2,036 matches across the top four divisions to focus on.

Ahead of this week’s release of the Premier League fixtures (Thursday June 15), Thompson spoke to the organisation about what goes into the preparation.

“For me it is at the start of the year when I get the playing dates from the Premier League,” he said.

“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.

“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.”

Thompson added that there are certain protocols that have to be followed. He continued: “In any five matches there should be a split of three home fixtures, two away or the other way around.

“A team will never have more than two home or away matches in a row, and, wherever possible, you will be home and away around FA Cup ties.

“A club will never start or finish the season with two home or two away matches because it would be unfair for a team to finish with two aways.

“Around the Christmas period, if you are at home on Boxing Day you will be away on New Year’s Day or an equivalent date. We also try to maintain a Saturday home-away sequence throughout the season wherever possible.”

Travel is also taken into consideration, with clubs from the Premier League and Football League likely to travel across the same transport routes on the same day as each other.

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