What we already know about Sheffield Wednesday's 2019/20 fixture list and how it is compiled
Sheffield Wednesday’s fixture list for the 2019/20 season are revealed tomorrow and fans are very excited.
Fans will be eagerly looking out for who the Owls play on the first and last day of the season as well as the tricky Christmas schedule.
The fixtures for Sheffield Wednesday and the other 71 EFL teams across the leagues are released at 9am on Thursday, June 20.
However, there are a few things we already know about Sheffield Wednesday’s next season in the Championship.
The Owls will be playing away from home on Boxing Day and at home on New Year’s Day, judging by Sheffield United’s fixtures.
Sheffield United take on Watford at home on Boxing Day and face a tough trip to Anfield on New Year’s Day.
The football league operates a pairing system, meaning paired teams cannot play at home on the same day.
As a result, Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday do not play at home on the same day for a number of reasons including crowd control, transport and shared resources.
This means that Sheffield Wednesday fans will be forced, once again, to travel to an away match on Boxing Day.
Sheffield Wednesday have not played a Boxing Day game at home since beating Birmingham City 3-0 in 2015.
The EFL has also given a valuable insight into the fixtures are compiled, revealing that both they and the Premier League work with an IT contractor who is experienced with fixture production.
Work started on compiling the fixtures back in November when the EFL met with the Fixtures Working Party to agree a draft schedule for the forthcoming season.
This is followed up by another meeting in March where processes and policies relating to fixture production are agreed with the clubs, the FA and the Football Supporters Federation.
Then, following the play-off finals, the button is ‘pressed’ and 10 days later they are presented with a draft fixture list which they then sit down, review and refine before meeting with the Chief Police Officers to discuss safety.
The EFL’s Competitions Manager Paul Snellgrove explained: “It is checked manually by the League’s Football Services department. We also have a number of reporting tools and reports that are produced by the IT contractor.
“Repetition of fixtures is something we look at, certainly over the Christmas period.
“We compare it to the fixture questionnaires and information that is sent in by clubs, along with any other information that we accumulate from train companies and police forces regarding events that go on up and down the country, that could potentially clash with fixtures in that area.”