Derby fixture fix

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Does anyone else resent the way the fixture list always comes up with the first derby match at Goodison, early on in the season, followed by the return at Anfield late on. This has happened for about 20 years on the trot, and cannot be random. It invariably means that Liverpool always have the last laugh, because we never win at Anfield.

I think, because Everton just seem to accept the status quo without complaint, the FA are happy to continue with this formula, and I've no doubt that next season's derby fixtures will fall in the same order.

Some people say the order of the fixtures does not matter, because we have to play every team home and away regardless. Okay, if it doesn't matter, let's just swap them around anyway, because one thing's for certain, and that is that it's not working in Everton's favour at the moment.

Mike Goodwin, Liverpool     Posted 25/04/2013 at 11:12:23

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Ernie Baywood
669 Posted 25/04/2013 at 14:47:56
The fixture list isn't random. It's loaded with constraints. I'm not sure why the home game always seems to come first but I'm not sure I have any real preference.
Patrick Murphy
670 Posted 25/04/2013 at 14:47:16
I would like the Derby game to be the first home game for each club every season then we could get it out of the way and not have to think about them again until the following August, the more I think about the better it sounds.
Mark Tanton
671 Posted 25/04/2013 at 14:50:04
I am sure the club would have protested and done something about it if it wasn't happy with the arrangement. Everton must be party to it surely? For the record, I hate it too.

Does anyone else remember the last time we went to Anfield for the first derby? Was it when Kev Campbell scored the winner in 2000/2001? I might be wrong on almost all counts there...

Peter Davies
672 Posted 25/04/2013 at 14:52:37
This topic was covered in an article ages ago. There's some agreement between the two clubs that has the first game at Goodison, but me being an old codger I can't remember the reason...doh!
Malcolm Bell
673 Posted 25/04/2013 at 14:57:40
Personally late this year and early next would be good for the Everton players. They will have less chance of being bitten.
Patrick Murphy
674 Posted 25/04/2013 at 14:58:04
December 2002 was the last time the first game took place over the road, I also think that the bear-pit that is Goosison is unsuitable for their quest for glory and we can't have that undermined can we?. It also confuses me why we can play everyone else under the floodlights at Goodison but not them. If they were to play each other in Europe would the police make us play in the afternoon?
Andrew Ellams
675 Posted 25/04/2013 at 15:00:42
It did used to alternate, when the first game was at Goodison it was September and then Feb over there, and when they were at home first it was October and March. Again, not exactly random. But then Everton used to play Man Utd every Boxing Day and Liverpool played Man City.
Kevin Tully
676 Posted 25/04/2013 at 15:07:52
Here ;

A computerised system is used to determine the fixtures. Once a draft schedule is produced the schedulers then consult with the Fixtures Working Party, which is made up of representatives from clubs across the Leagues and from supporters' organisations.

The final stage concludes with a consultation meeting with the Association of Chief Police Officers and the British Transport Police.

However, there are many factors that need to be taken into account before the computerised system can compile the fixture list successfully.

Fixtures can only be set once dates for other competitions have been confirmed, eg the FA Cup, UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League, and these considerations can make it difficult to find slots for some games.

In addition , there are exceptions when clubs or local authorities make specific requests if, for example, a major event is being held in the city on that day and a police force requests that a club has an away fixture. For these reasons fixture dates can change throughout the season.

We will always try to give at least four to six weeks’ notice when fixtures move and recommend that supporters do not book non-refundable travel or accommodation until live television selections and other factors such as cup matches have been determined.

Richard Reeves
680 Posted 25/04/2013 at 15:00:33
It shouldn't really matter when we play them; on the day, the better team wins and under Moyes's management we have proven to be the weaker.
Steve Carse
690 Posted 25/04/2013 at 15:43:58
I don't like the second meeting always being at Anfield because it's invariably the more critical one, whether we're near the top or the bottom of the league. There'll be nothing riding on this one so I can at least watch the game without my stomach being in knots.
Ross Edwards
696 Posted 25/04/2013 at 16:03:29
I'd rather get the two derbies out of the way in the first 10 games. Then we can relax a bit.
Tamhas Woods
710 Posted 25/04/2013 at 16:34:52
According to wikipedia:

"This local derby is also unique in the fact that the fixtures are played in a certain order. Since 2003, an agreement has been in place to hold the first derby of every season at Goodison Park, and the second at Anfield. There are several benefits to this arrangement: not only does this prevent long waits between home derbies for either team, but ensures that the flow of television revenue is more even due to the fact that the second derby cannot always be televised on Sky. Reasons for this vary, from cup commitments to late-season fixture congestion."

Can anyone officially verify this?!? Would make sense, but one thing I used to like about the fixture list was the element of surprise - that is now gone it would seem.

David S Shaw
713 Posted 25/04/2013 at 16:38:52
I've heard that Everton request it to stop people buying half season tickets
Tamhas Woods
717 Posted 25/04/2013 at 16:40:47
David Shaw, you may have something there, but what harm did it do us in 1995/96 and 2002/03? Both seasons saw the first derby at Anfield and they were our best finishes in the EPL's first ten years.

Not to mention 1984/85, when Sharpy banged the winner on 20th October at the Annie road end.

Barry Curran
720 Posted 25/04/2013 at 16:44:37
I think it started about 10 years ago, the shites were fixing the shite hole and played the first couple of games away, us being one of them, and as a deal sweetener, we got the next ten fixtures at home so it should be finished this year.
James Stewart
734 Posted 25/04/2013 at 18:00:09
Who cares when it is. We have to play them twice so we should be concentrating on doing the double of them for once!
Ian Smitham
737 Posted 25/04/2013 at 18:10:57
Interesting, my only hope is that the first game is played while Suarez is banned
Jeremy Benson
740 Posted 25/04/2013 at 18:21:14
Re: Patrick Murphy @ 670

"I would like the Derby game to be the first home game for each club every season"

So, you're suggesting that its efc v lfc and then lfc v efc as the first 2 matches of the season? Same for the manchester teams etc?

Ridiculous! Would hugely favour whichever team had the better pre-season, and in the case of the manchester clubs at present,would have a large bearing on the title race within the first couple of games.

Never going to happen, thankfully.

Patrick Murphy
742 Posted 25/04/2013 at 18:28:19
Yes, but only the Merseyside derby though not every derby, why not? We could focus on the next 36 games and forget all about them instead of constantly having people wondering how we'll get on against them when we've got other games to play before them.
Ste Traverse
776 Posted 25/04/2013 at 19:55:21
A bit of a bad omen for the upcoming Anfield clash is that we've not won the 2nd derby of any season since 1987/88 when Wayne Clarke's famous goal in March 1988 destroyed Liverpool's attempt to beat Leeds Utd's record of unbeaten games from the start of a season.

They only needed a draw that day to break it.

Tamhas Woods
783 Posted 25/04/2013 at 20:19:30
We've come close though

1996 - four minutes from time, Robbie Fowler gets an equaliser, denying us a derby double

2000 - Graham Poll blows 15 seconds early, another double denied

2007 - If only Reina had not just about managed to toe Johnson's shot at the last second!

Ian Bennett
786 Posted 25/04/2013 at 20:29:09
Was it really 2000 for the Good Friday derby? I have never seen so many pissed evertonians before.
Karl Masters
808 Posted 25/04/2013 at 21:11:21
You've led a sheltered life, Ian!
Danny Kewley
811 Posted 25/04/2013 at 21:29:56
Let us just beat the fucking twats eh!
Ian Bennett
813 Posted 25/04/2013 at 21:25:47
Karl – it was an 8pm kick off and people were leaving for the match at 10:30 which made me laugh. The pubs must have run dry.
Stu Smith
846 Posted 26/04/2013 at 04:37:55
I posted this same question a few months ago. I remember someone telling me that both clubs prefer this order and both clubs request to the fa that it is played this way.
Paul Andrews
857 Posted 26/04/2013 at 07:11:36
Makes no difference when the games are played.
If we go out with our tails between our legs as usual the outcome will be the usual one.
Liam Reilly
947 Posted 26/04/2013 at 16:49:02
Doesn't matter who plays first or second. These conspiracy theories are bordering on the ridiculous now
Do ya think them lot over there; really give a flying fuck who plays who first? Just concentrate on beating them.
There’s something in the air this year.
Gavin Ramejkis
015 Posted 26/04/2013 at 20:48:15
The Sky fixture list is riddled with fix, how the hell do we have Sky Wanky Super Sunday every season with the darlings drawn to play each other the at the same weekend every season
Matt Traynor
021 Posted 26/04/2013 at 20:50:21
Gavin #015, Kevin above at #676 posted something sounding more official, but last time this was tabled on here, I basically said it's a computerised draw, then with a committee making modifications to suit other parties.

They'll never admit this, but as Sky are the dominant domestic broadcaster, with 6 of the 8 packages tendered, they get first dibs for most fixtures. They're also able to schedule these "blockbuster" weekends.

Interestingly, BT Vision paid such a huge premium for their 2 packages kicking in from next season as they wanted more rounds of fixtures where they get first dibs.

Colour me surprised when their allocated picks avoid all of the big matches Sky wants. £800m well spent there.

Ian Smitham
042 Posted 26/04/2013 at 23:25:40
Ste#776, so funny that goal. Where I was sat everyone was saying great goal and in the same breath oh no not him. Wayne Clarke, not the most popular.
Ernie Baywood
049 Posted 27/04/2013 at 00:16:40
As I posted early in the thread, the fixture list isn't random. There are same city home and away pairings to deal with, police advice, special requests (eg us wanting to open against Villa to celebrate 100 seasons in the top flight, Christmas period 'low travel fixtures', and no doubt a bit of Hollywood staging (hence 'Super Sunday').

It does make me wonder whether there is a request to play Goodison first. Who could have an interest in that?

Mike Goodwin
052 Posted 27/04/2013 at 00:21:41
James Stewart (#734), "Who cares when it is?" — I care, why do you think I made the post? If it doesn't make any difference, then you won't mind if the fixtures are reversed, will you?

Paul Andrews (#857) — "makes no difference". It shouldn't make a difference in European fixtures: both teams play home and away, but it is always seen as a bonus if you are drawn away first. Coincidentally, Liverpool in Europe always seem to play at home in the second leg, although there may be a reason for that.

Richard Reeves (#680) — "It shouldn't really matter". Of course you are right, but it does matter, because statistically we have got a better chance of gaining a draw or a win at home, compared to our abysmal record at Anfield. Therefore, all I am asking is for the fixtures to be reversed, so that we can get our Anfield defeat out of the way early on, and then later in the season have a better chance of gaining a draw or a rare win at Goodison when the season is drawing to a close and results are paramount.

Liam Reilly (#947) – Yes, I do think 'them lot over there' give a flying fuck. I think it suits them down to the ground and for that reason I would like to change it, regardless of whether it would make any difference.

Anto Byrne
064 Posted 27/04/2013 at 06:30:13
It wouldn't matter if we didn't have this inferiority complex. But I reckon this complex has more to do with attitude than anything else. They will always raise their game and fight to the end in a derby as it means they can always have top dog status.

I'm betting on a draw or a single goal either way. If we go ahead early, I expect Moyes will go into his defensive shell and blow it. It would be nice to finish the season off with 4 wins so here's hoping.

Kase Chow
231 Posted 27/04/2013 at 21:32:12
Mike Goodwin #052 — What a great response to some lazy thinking!

As it happens, I agree with you.

Liam Reilly
960 Posted 30/04/2013 at 10:17:20
Mike #052
Disagree. The advantage in Europe is obvious over two legs and doesn't apply here.

This LPL team has been poor over the past few seasons and we should be going to Anfield trying to do the double over them; ergo putting the pressure on them, but consistently failing to win at home cause this anxiety.

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