Try telling Nottingham Forest supporters that the release of the 2022-23 Premier League fixtures doesn’t mean anything.
Each year the league’s super-computer generates the fixture list for all 20 clubs in the division for the upcoming season. It would be fair to say that it is an occasion (if you can call it that) that splits opinion.
For some, it is a source of great excitement, an opportunity to circle the dates of matches against rival clubs in red biro on the calendar, meticulously map out the routes for away days to other ends of the country and work out when eyes will be fixed on a big-money summer signing up close for the first time.
Others will state matter of factly that the whole thing is merely an exercise in futility: “You have to play every team twice anyway,” and “the TV companies will change the dates anyway” they will grumble – admittedly with some justification.
When are the Premier League fixtures announced?
The 2022-23 Premier League fixtures will be released at 9am on Thursday 16 June.
Here are the key dates for the upcoming season:
- First games: Friday 5/Saturday 6/Sunday 7 August
- Final day: Sunday 28 May
- Opening game: Monday 21 November
- The final: Sunday 18 December
But while supporters of long-established top-flight clubs might not be too bothered about Premier League fixtures day, those less accustomed to being in the big time will certainly be more amenable to it.
Bar the odd FA or Carabao Cup trip, Forest fans have waited 23 years to visit Old Trafford or Anfield or Stamford Bridge and not travelled to newer grounds like the Emirates or Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. If the play-off final win still feels like a dream, this will provide a dose of reality. Fulham and Bournemouth are also back after spending far less time in the Championship.
This season is going to be a unique one as it will be carved into two separate parts: pre-World Cup until the end of November and post-World Cup from Boxing Day onwards.
Although the pandemic has wreaked havoc on the football calendar over the past few seasons, this strange situation is entirely of Fifa’s own making. In awarding the World Cup to Qatar – a country where the average high temperature in June is 41 degrees Celsius – Fifa had to move the tournament to the end of the year instead, which will pose logistical problems to clubs around Europe.
The timescales are staggeringly tight. The final round of Premier League matches before the World Cup are scheduled for Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 November, which is just over a week until the tournament’s opening match between Senegal and the Netherlands on Monday 21 November.
And there are only eight days between the World Cup final on Sunday 18 December and the resumption of the Premier League on Boxing Day. The subject of player welfare will invariably be a hot topic of discussion around that time. Expect managers to be moodier than usual when their exhausted players report for duty after participating in a gruelling tournament thousands of miles away.
On the plus side, the re-implementation of the contentious five substitutes rule will at least give managers a greater opportunity to give their big stars a breather. Which will no doubt provide food for thought for Fantasy Premier League enthusiasts.
The live TV broadcasters for the 2022-23 season will be Sky Sports, BT Sport and Amazon Prime, while BBC will show highlights on Match of the Day and Match of the Day 2.
The fixtures for the 2022-23 Premier League season will be released at 9am on Thursday 16 June, but are subject to change when the broadcasters make their TV picks.