Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Revealed: how City fans have been messed around the most

I was at the Sky Sports site the other day and noticed that their fixture lists include a record of when games are rescheduled.

After scrolling through City's fixtures I discovered that our games have been rescheduled a staggering 21 times so far this season, including 13 home games. We've had more league games moved than any other club, and when FA Cup, Coca-Cola Cup and European games are included only Everton fans have had to put up with as many fixture changes as us.

Here are the number of fixture changes for each club this season (if anyone has difficulty reading this table I've published it in a different format at the bottom of the page):

And here are the fixture changes in full:

Sat 18
City v Man Utd (moved to Sun 19)

Sat 1
Blackburn v City (moved to Sun 2)
Sat 15
City v Villa (moved to Sun 16)
Sat 29
City v Middlesbro (moved to Sun Oct 7)

Sat 6
City v Newcastle (moved to Tue Jan 1)
Tue 30 (Coca-Cola Cup)
Bolton v City (moved to Wed 31)

Sat 3
City v Sunderland (moved to Mon 5)
Sat 10
Portsmouth v City (moved to Sun 11)

Sat 8
Spurs v City (moved to Sun 9)
Wed 26
City v Blackburn (moved to Thu 27)
Sat 29
City v Liverpool (moved to Sun 30)

Tue 1
Newcastle v City (moved to Tue 2)
Sat 19
City v West Ham (moved to Sun 20)
Tue 29
Derby v City (moved to Wed 30)

Sat 9
United v City (moved to Sun 10)
Sat 23
City v Everton (moved to Mon 25)

Sat 15
City v Spurs (moved to Sun 16)

Sat 5
City v Chelsea (moved to Sun 6)
Sun 6
City v Chelsea (moved back to Sat 5)
Sat 19
City v Portsmouth (moved to Sun 20)

Sun 11
City v Newcastle (moved to Sat Sep 29)

It's hard to tell what precise effect this has had on attendances, but it does make this season's average gate of 42,068 - up 5.2% on last year - all the more remarkable.

Of course, there is an upside to all this too. The table also provides some indication of how this season's £900million TV money will be shared out.

It's unclear what the exact formula for payments will be as details have not yet been published, but if it's similar to the last TV deal then around £142m will be shared out depending on TV appearances. That should net around £10m-£11m for City, on top of an estimated £31m that will be automatically allocated to each club. With merit payments now worth around £670,000 per place, an 8th place finish would earn us £8.7m. In all, that would add up to nearly £50m in TV money for this season, compared to £22.4m last year.

But, as always, it's the fans who pay the price.

~ Here's a link to an interesting site called The Right Result (originally posted by Doctor Congo at Bluemoon), which shows what the Premiership table might have looked like had referees made correct decisions.

~ Finishing off the table theme, the latest figures for arrests at football matches have just been released. The full figures haven't been put on the Home Office website yet, but you can read the full 2006-07 figures, which break down every type of arrest for each club, by clicking here.

~ I notice that a new statue of Southampton legend Ted Bates was unveiled last weekend after the original one was pulled down following complaints from irate fans. If you missed it first time round, I wrote this story about the fiasco back in May.

~ I'm pretty much tabled-out for this week so I'll be running the all-time City managers ranking next week. I'm also finishing off the first of the Tabloid Tales series which I'll be running early next week.


Anonymous said...

you can't blame sky for the Newcastle/Middlesbro changes - City had a home game scheduled on the last saturday - UEFA regs demand that the ground hosting the UEFA cup final isn't used for a set number of days before the final is played so there was a rejig of a few fixtures - this led to us playing 3 consecutive home league games early on and having two away matches in the last two weeks whereas everyone should have one home and one away. Poor admin on City's part - they could have asked for an away game last match and been guaranteed a home game in the penultimate fixture.

Andrew said...

Interesting. Didn't know that.

Well CoMS was only selected by Uefa in Oct 2006, so maybe the club needed more time.

A poster on BlueVibe remembers the FA Cup game against Sheff Utd being rescheduled, so that now puts us clear at the top of the table.

alphieblues said...

I thought the Middlesborough fixture change only involved swapping home for away which does not affect the number of changes of fixture times created by Sky.

Anonymous said...

When I started my job in August i chose to work Sundays instead of Saturdays (because i thought city would be playing then) instead we have had hardly any home matches on a Saturday it is a joke!