Final Matches of Season to be Moved?

Banana

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From The Times:

Plan to move 36th game to get fans in

Martyn Ziegler, Chief Sports Reporter
Saturday February 27 2021, 12.01am, The Times
Champions League | The Times & The Sunday Times
The Premier League has found a solution to ensure all of its clubs can have 10,000 fans back for one game before the end of the season by shifting a midweek round of matches in May until later in the month, it can be revealed.

Talks have already taken place with broadcasters about delaying the ten matches due to be played on May 11 and 12 by a week to May 18 and 19 — which would be after the government’s fixed date of May 17 for the return of supporters. It would mean the 36th round of games becoming the 37th and penultimate round, and although all options are being considered the plan has emerged as the favoured solution.

There are concerns that under the existing schedule having fans back for only the final round of games on May 23 would damage the sporting integrity of the competition, with only half the clubs having the advantage of home support.

One source told The Times it was “inconceivable” that fans would only be allowed into the final round of games because of those concerns.
The final matches could well see relegation deciders, such as Fulham v Newcastle United, and games that are crucial to Champions League qualification. Furthermore, every league place is important because the merit money payments are worth around £3 million for each place a club achieves in the table.

May 18 and 19 is a clear week in the domestic fixture calendar and with no European games scheduled either. The idea of moving the matches due to be played on the penultimate weekend, May 15/16, to the midweek slot after the fans’ return date was briefly considered but rejected because TV rights holders were unhappy about the prospect of a weekend without games and the FA Cup final is being played on May 15 which would have caused problems.
Broadcasters appear to be relaxed about shifting one midweek round by a week. As it has turned out, moving the fixtures would be straightforward because all the home teams are the same in rounds 36 and 37 and are all playing away from home in round 38 which would allow every club to have fans back for one match.
The Premier League clubs will have a vote on whether to have fans back but that decision is likely to be put off as long as possible to gauge the situation with the Covid-19 pandemic and the government’s position.
 
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Banana

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Of course we need to be there for the final match of the EFL season too. The trouble is, ours is away. So the last TWO matches have to be with fans.

As the schedule currently stands though, this would mean a 3 week break and there's the play-offs to fit in too.
 

Shamrock_Bee

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I guess the play offs, and tight schedule makes it difficult to move regular season games. What is possible though is play off dates are changed slightly to allow fans to attend both legs. For the same sporting integrity reason 2nd legs on the 18th/19th May won't be allowed fans if they weren't allowed in the first legs.
 

jlove

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Call me a cynic but it can't be a coincidence that local elections are being held on 6 May and trailing this sort of "news" through one of the well-used outlets is standard practice to test public opinion.
 

RAF_Patto

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I can't see the EFL following suit, as it seems to be broadcaster driven. How many games will they be able to show in the Premier League AND EFL?

For us, I wouldn't be surprised if the PO were the first games with fans. Move those fixtures to allow both teams access, as most fixtures, if not all, would be on live TV.
 

Isleworth_Bee

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Will all come down to the integrity issues. One game wouldnt be enough as it would give those teams that miss out or relegated an option to moan and appeal

Any fans inside grounds would be great.
 

PhilE

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Don't see how this could happen with the EFL even if they wanted to. It would not be a matter of moving a single round of games from midweek to midweek. 17th May ( which contrary to report is not a 'fixed' date) is actually 9 days after Championships last game so to retain integrity they would need to move 2 games back by at least a week and a half.

The play-offs would have nowhere to go if last matches were 22nd May and play-offs are to be played over the traditional late May BH a week later. Indeed it would not even be possible to move the PO semis unless the final could be sold in a week. Best to leave it as it is and hope they can get some fans into Wembley for the playoff finals.
 

AB

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Call me a cynic but it can't be a coincidence that local elections are being held on 6 May and trailing this sort of "news" through one of the well-used outlets is standard practice to test public opinion.
Call me a realist but the idea this government would propose a change targeted to appeal to football fans to get their votes is somewhat fanciful. But if true, it’s quite positive for the future in relation to things like safe standing that fans’ interests might be seen as worth pursuing.
 

Bixer

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Not a chance this happens in the EFL, no point getting our hopes up.

Only way we get to see the Bees in the flesh again this season is if we end up in the play-offs.
 

mhead bee

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Surely the powers that be picked the date because it was after the end of the season.

And pubs opening after the Easter weekend and grass roots football starting right before Easter when there are no games due to bank holidays.

It’s devious and sly.
 

cheshirebee

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And pubs opening after the Easter weekend and grass roots football starting right before Easter when there are no games due to bank holidays.

It’s devious and sly.
Or aiming to limit human interaction while the bastard virus is still around and insufficient are vaccinated and therefore save lives and ensure that we don’t have to slow down/ reverse the planned easing of restrictions. Just saying.
 

mhead bee

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Or aiming to limit human interaction while the bastard virus is still around and insufficient are vaccinated and therefore save lives and ensure that we don’t have to slow down/ reverse the planned easing of restrictions. Just saying.
So why not just say we are going to open grounds for the euro’s and then next season. People would absolutely accept that, why try to make out they are opening grounds much sooner, Why not say we are opening pubs after Easter holidays as we don’t want a huge upsurge. Why not send kids back to school after Easter rather than for 2 weeks before they are on holiday again for 2 weeks.
 

cheshirebee

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So why not just say we are going to open grounds for the euro’s and then next season. People would absolutely accept that, why try to make out they are opening grounds much sooner, Why not say we are opening pubs after Easter holidays as we don’t want a huge upsurge. Why not send kids back to school after Easter rather than for 2 weeks before they are on holiday again for 2 weeks.
Not sure I get your point. They’ve given a likely date for sports stadiums to start opening up, not just football grounds eg. whilst my primary sporting interest is BFC, I also have tix for Eng vs NZ at Edgbaston on June 10th. They’re obviously going to say that they are led by the Covid modelling calendar not the sporting calendar.
Re. pubs and Easter, why would you say what you suggest when you can just say we think it will be ok to sit outside in pubs on April 12.
Re. schools before Easter, it’s totally consistent with the commitment that the first thing to reopen will be schools, why would you wait until after Easter if you think it will be ok before Easter.
Just not getting your logic on this one MB.
 

Ealing Bee

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Call me a realist but the idea this government would propose a change targeted to appeal to football fans to get their votes is somewhat fanciful. But if true, it’s quite positive for the future in relation to things like safe standing that fans’ interests might be seen as worth pursuing.
Agree with this.

Tbh, I doubt that this government possesses the necessary competence to arrange matters in this way, esp when it comes to football. Esp when they have far more important things to consider.

Of course, if it were Rugby we were talking about, or Henley or Wimbledon etc, that could be a different matter.
 

mhead bee

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Not sure I get your point. They’ve given a likely date for sports stadiums to start opening up, not just football grounds eg. whilst my primary sporting interest is BFC, I also have tix for Eng vs NZ at Edgbaston on June 10th. They’re obviously going to say that they are led by the Covid modelling calendar not the sporting calendar.
Re. pubs and Easter, why would you say what you suggest when you can just say we think it will be ok to sit outside in pubs on April 12.
Re. schools before Easter, it’s totally consistent with the commitment that the first thing to reopen will be schools, why would you wait until after Easter if you think it will be ok before Easter.
Just not getting your logic on this one MB.
Because if they opened football grounds a week earlier you would have 4000 people in 60 grounds and 10,000 in the other 30 grounds, 4,000 people going to one cricket match doesn't compare.

They have picked the date specifically as it is a few days after the season ends, don't try to tell me it is mere coincidence. Lets see if they allow games to move a week later then shall we?

As for Easter, if they opened the pubs a measly 2 days earlier they would be packed on bank holiday rather than opening on a work day.

Come on, it ain't rocket science.

I would prefer a bit of honesty, say we are not opening domestic football grounds this season and we are not opening pubs until after Easter due to the risk, I am sure we would all accept that. I also wouldn't object to schools staying shut until after Easter, after a year out what are they going to achieve in a couple of weeks, just wait and let the schools prepare properly and avoid unnecessary risk.
 

cheshirebee

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Because if they opened football grounds a week earlier you would have 4000 people in 60 grounds and 10,000 in the other 30 grounds, 4,000 people going to one cricket match doesn't compare.

They have picked the date specifically as it is a few days after the season ends, don't try to tell me it is mere coincidence. Lets see if they allow games to move a week later then shall we?

As for Easter, if they opened the pubs a measly 2 days earlier they would be packed on bank holiday rather than opening on a work day.

Come on, it ain't rocket science.

I would prefer a bit of honesty, say we are not opening domestic football grounds this season and we are not opening pubs until after Easter due to the risk, I am sure we would all accept that. I also wouldn't object to schools staying shut until after Easter, after a year out what are they going to achieve in a couple of weeks, just wait and let the schools prepare properly and avoid unnecessary risk.
I guess I was originally reacting to your point that it was all ‘devious and sly’.
It may well have been a factor in the overall consideration of spectator events opening up but that doesn’t make it devious and sly. Also, the prospective date is one week BEFORE the end of the Premier League season so if the football calendar really was a key factor why not delay another week ?
Probably does make sense to hold off opening pub gardens until after the Easter weekend for the sake of a couple of days. I read that as sensible rather than devious.
Re. schools, they have been preparing since Jan 4th and since then have had March 8th as most likely return date, so no benefit to be gained by delaying further. Speaking to both parents and teachers that I know, everyone is pleased to be going back sooner rather than later.
 

ladbroke

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On a different trajectory of this thread, the last games in the Championship have, I believe, always been on a Sunday yet this season they're down as Saturday.
What are the chances they keep them to Saturday or move the lot to Sunday. Asking as I want to book the day off, rather than the weekend off.
 

beesbees_bfc

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On a different trajectory of this thread, the last games in the Championship have, I believe, always been on a Sunday yet this season they're down as Saturday.
What are the chances they keep them to Saturday or move the lot to Sunday. Asking as I want to book the day off, rather than the weekend off.
If they’re Saturday and we secure promotion you’ll want the Sunday off too!
 

lanzabee

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Call me a realist but the idea this government would propose a change targeted to appeal to football fans to get their votes is somewhat fanciful. But if true, it’s quite positive for the future in relation to things like safe standing that fans’ interests might be seen as worth pursuing.
Not that implausible. Govts crave popularity. Hence Eat Out To Help Out and Xmas opening up.

Would imagine the current admin are keen to hold onto all the red wall votes picked up at the last election from football's heartlands.

Wouldnt take anything any politician says at face value.
 

mhead bee

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Probably does make sense to hold off opening pub gardens until after the Easter weekend for the sake of a couple of days. I read that as sensible rather than devious.
I don't think anyone would disagree its sensible, so why not just say it.

Re. schools, they have been preparing since Jan 4th and since then have had March 8th as most likely return date, so no benefit to be gained by delaying further. Speaking to both parents and teachers that I know, everyone is pleased to be going back sooner rather than later.
My niece is a teacher, she has done anything except prepare, far, far, far too bust trying to teach all the kids still in school, trying to manage all the kids at home especially those who still don't have any tech. Don't forget after Christmas they had schools not opening thrust upon them the night before having been told 24 hours earlier that that they would 100% be opening. They still haven't really got to grips with it properly.

I wholeheartedly disagree with you that there is no benefit in delaying the return, the benefits of NOT returning are plain and obvious, another 5 weeks of vaccines roll out and no gamble taken on the kids super spreading like they did back in September that created the 3rd wave and killed thousands.

The teachers should not be working 24 hours a day to prepare for the return of the kids on top of what they are doing now? The kids will do absolutely nothing in the first week, it will all be acclimatisation and Covid testing (my kids are booked in for two a week each all on separate days) and we have now been informed as parents we will be tested twice per week again on separate days. The second week will be again more testing, two each again on separate days and then it will be a case of squeezing in some assessments to see how much they have lost over the last year. Week three is again more testing whilst they work down towards Easter bank holiday.

After a year at home another 2-3 weeks makes no difference to the kids now and allows another 10-15M people to be vaccinated, the teachers then get a week over Easter to prepare for schools returns.

Simple common sense.
 

mhead bee

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On a different trajectory of this thread, the last games in the Championship have, I believe, always been on a Sunday yet this season they're down as Saturday.
What are the chances they keep them to Saturday or move the lot to Sunday. Asking as I want to book the day off, rather than the weekend off.
I doubt they will move the whole lot to Sunday or they would have done that in the first place, as you say it has been the case for many years now. Not sure why they changed it.
 

cheshirebee

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I don't think anyone would disagree its sensible, so why not just say it.



My niece is a teacher, she has done anything except prepare, far, far, far too bust trying to teach all the kids still in school, trying to manage all the kids at home especially those who still don't have any tech. Don't forget after Christmas they had schools not opening thrust upon them the night before having been told 24 hours earlier that that they would 100% be opening. They still haven't really got to grips with it properly.

I wholeheartedly disagree with you that there is no benefit in delaying the return, the benefits of NOT returning are plain and obvious, another 5 weeks of vaccines roll out and no gamble taken on the kids super spreading like they did back in September that created the 3rd wave and killed thousands.

The teachers should not be working 24 hours a day to prepare for the return of the kids on top of what they are doing now? The kids will do absolutely nothing in the first week, it will all be acclimatisation and Covid testing (my kids are booked in for two a week each all on separate days) and we have now been informed as parents we will be tested twice per week again on separate days. The second week will be again more testing, two each again on separate days and then it will be a case of squeezing in some assessments to see how much they have lost over the last year. Week three is again more testing whilst they work down towards Easter bank holiday.

After a year at home another 2-3 weeks makes no difference to the kids now and allows another 10-15M people to be vaccinated, the teachers then get a week over Easter to prepare for schools returns.

Simple common sense.
Yes, fully agree it’s been a really challenging time for schools.
My daughter is involved in getting her school prepared and has been working on practical classroom plans and testing capability since early January. They seem pretty much ready to have the kids back.
As you mention the first couple of weeks are likely to be a bit messy and not hugely productive so, IMHO, best to get them out of the way as soon as sensibly possible rather than lose another 2 or 3 weeks.
There are no definitive right or wrongs here I guess, lots of shades of grey and judgement calls to be made so let’s agree there’s room for both our points of view to have some validity. COYB
 

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