Its here…the 2015/16 fixture list!
It all begins Saturday, August, 8th.
It took a while but next season the Premier League, for the first time will see….
Cardiff City will return to the top flight for the first time in 51 years. With Swansea City already there, it will be the first-time Wales has had two top-flight clubs.
It has been an agonizing wait for Cardiff City Fans. Having clearly been the best team in
The Championship for the past few years they have missed out on automatic promotion (after leading the pack for most of the season) by a sudden dramatic loss of form in the closing weeks of the season and found themselves in the play-offs – at which point they fell at the final hurdle and their dreams were shattered.
This season, despite a couple of shock loses in February and March, they managed to hold on and secure their place as champions. Be it financial backing, strong leadership, team ethic, a solid defense or a change in shirt color (going from blue to red in the summer of 2012), something has made the difference to the fortunes of the boys from South Wales – good Luck Cardiff – life is certainly about to become a lot more interesting for you!
British-based company Hawk-Eye, which rose to prominence for the use of its successful ground breaking technology in tennis and cricket, has won the contract (over rival German firm Goal Control) to supply all 20 Premier League grounds in the country (during the close season) with the goal line system that has the potential to transform the game.
As of next season there, in theory anyway, will be no more shouts of ‘we was robbed’ – the customary reaction when a perfectly good goal is not given because the linesman was either caught nodding off, hadn’t managed to keep up with play, or was totally useless – had failed to see the ball cross the line.
Having transformed line calls in tennis, the camera-based system provides instant replays, thereby allowing the referee to see whether a goal has been scored. A truly valuable piece of equipment given how many good goals have been disallowed, which has played a major impact on the results of many crucial games – the most prominent being the Frank Lampard “ghost goal” against Germany at the South Africa World Cup in 2010. England went onto lose the game and was eliminated from the competition in the second round. Had the goal been given, well who knows, but the point is, this technology will make a huge different and hopefully eliminate such controversial decisions.
Welcome to you both – it will be interesting to see what lasts the longest….
(Photo source: Guardian.co.uk)
The ‘drop’, ‘going down’, ‘getting relegated’ all terms English Premier League soccer fans have come to know and love when it comes to watching which three teams will finish bottom of the league.
Affectionately know as ‘the drop’ the three teams with the fewest points when the season concludes in May will see their position in the Premier League come to an end and the following season(s) they will spend their time playing in the lower leagues of English soccer.
The drop normally co insides not only with a huge loss of advertising, commercial revenue (up to $50m), but can spell disaster for the club in general. They can no longer attract the top players, many of the current players in the team leave the club to play elsewhere, the attendance of the much needed fan base and the revenue from the tickets/season ticket sales declines severely, and a club which once found themselves comfortably in the black, can soon find themselves in the red and struggling for financial survival.
Many clubs who have been relegated and had hoped for a quick return to the Premiership have found themselves languishing in the lower divisions for years; some have gone into administration while some have never recovered – professionally or financially.
So how do teams avoid the drop?
Make sure the team has more than 40 points by the end of the season. It has long been the belief that teams who can accrue 40 points or more during the season are safe, and since the Premier League started in 1992, this has generally been the case. But there have been seasons when 34 points were enough, as well as seasons when teams needed 44 points to survive.
Try and avoid being bottom at Christmas – the ‘Curse of Christmas’ refers to a trend where the team at the bottom at Christmas has been relegated – this has happened every year except one (2004/5 West Bromwich Albion) since the league started in 1992. Their survival lead to the term ‘the great escape’ which is now given to a team, who, it was thought, had no chance of staying up, and yet manages to survive.
Don’t do a Swindon Town – in the 1993/94 season, Swindon won five games out of forty two and conceded 100 goals (still a Premier League Record). They were relegated and have never made it back to the Premier League.
Try and do better than Sunderland – Sunderland hold the record for the ‘worst ever Premier League Club’, during the 2005/6 season they managed just three wins and only got fifteen points – there were relegated.
Hire Harry Redknapp as the manager – having engineered the ‘great escape’ for Portsmouth from what seemed like an impossible survival position in 2006, Redknapp is currently trying to perform the same feet with his current team Queens Park Rangers (and yes they were bottom at Christmas).
Sadly there is no magic formula to avoid ‘the drop, it all comes down to hard work, sheer belief, and luck. Along with having your no.1 striker hit top form in the last few months of the season, having the opportunity to sell the teams dodgy goal keeper in the January transfer window, hoping that all the teams around you start to loose more games than you do, and above all, making sure you are not bottom of the league at Christmas. Good luck Queens Park Rangers!