Friday, 25 July 2014

Fixtures, Schedules and Erskine Delivers

I’m putting together my spreadsheet with all the fixtures from the top leagues for 2014-15, and although the draw for the Serie A schedule isn’t until Monday, the differences between the leagues are always interesting to see.

The French are the first to start their season, kicking things off on Friday 8th August. Two midweek rounds are on the schedule, with a three week break at the half-way point over Xmas and the New Year sees the season finish on the weekend of May 23rd 2015.

The English Premier League starts a week later on the weekend of August 16th, and has three rounds of (non-holiday) midweek matches scheduled. No winter break for the EPL of course, in fact quite the contrary with two matches in three days over Boxing Day and the adjoining weekend. New Year’s Day (a Thursday) marks the start of the second half of the season, and there are a couple of blank league weekends for the FA Cup. Unlike other leagues, the history behind our primary cup competition means it still has a prominent place in the calendar.

The Germans have fewer matches to schedule, so they return to action full of World Cup pride a week later, on Friday August 22nd, take a six week long winter / half-term break, yet still conclude their activity on the weekend of May 23rd 2015. How very organized.

La Liga starts the same weekend as Germany, but they are happy with scheduling just 16 matches by the end of the year, and fitting 22 in after the New Year. The BBC site from where I pulled the fixtures may not be completely accurate on these games – they have Almeria ending the season with four consecutive home games which seemed a bit odd, and it looks like they have the matches versus Sevilla reversed.

Finally, Italy’s Serie A gets underway on August 31st, "a later start then usual because of the World Cup". It was a decision made last December, presumably by an optimist at the Legacalcio - or do a lot of Germans play in Serie A? The league will consequently wrap up a week after the other top leagues on May 31st 2015.

Once the Serie A fixtures are scheduled and incorporated into my spreadsheet, if any Cassini Service subscribers or FTL entrants would like a free copy, drop me a line. It took quite a bit of time, and will need to be updated as matches are rescheduled for various reasons, but the baseline rounds will all be there and it might save some of you several hours of work.

Finally, as mentioned earlier this week, I'll finalise the rules, terms, conditions etc. for the 2014-15 FTL, but I did hear from Ian Erskine (of FTS Income fame and fortune) and have some great news regarding his offer to sponsor this season's competition. Let's just say Ian's fortune is slightly less than it was!

Incidentally Ian, I did reply to you, but received an Undelivered Mail Returned To Sender message back.
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If anyone else would like to sponsor the competition, please let me know. We also still have several places available at a cost of just £52.50 and after the news of Ian's donation, there might be a small stampede.

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