A Club's Remarkably Advantageous Fixture List and it's Certainly Not Celtic
A Club’s Remarkably Advantageous Fixture List and it’s Certainly Not CelticEditorSep 26 2021, 9:38
Neil Doncaster - Photo Jeff Holmes
I think it’s important that this information is shared the Celtic family. We need to challenge and dispel the myth that the SPFL are anti Rangers. I also think that the media need to aware that the fixtures are heavily weighted in favour of one team.The Scottish Premiership is NOT a level playing field (pardon the pun)
I’m more than happy for you to share the information as you see fit and I’m happy to remain anonymous.
Just in case anybody suggests this is a one-off issue which can happen due to having an 12 team league with a split. The fixtures for 2019-20 when the league was halted due to the pandemic had exactly the same statistics and fixtures breakdown.
Another startling statistic this season is that CELTIC will play away from home against Aberdeen, Hibs, Hearts and Rangers once each during the European competition qualifiers and the Europa League
RANGERS will have their first and only away league fixture against either Aberdeen, Hibs, Hearts and Celtic just as the Europa League ends.
So, the league fixtures also offer them less onerous ties during European competitions.
It must be Luck!
Photo: Malcolm Mackenzie
Review of Scottish Premiership Fixtures 2021-2022…A thorough review of the SPFL Premiership fixtures list for this season makes some interesting reading. There is in my opinion clear evidence of the fixtures being manipulated to favour one particular club!
In a season where the outcome of the league championship is crucial, in terms of income generation, guaranteeing direct access to the Champions League Group stages, with potential income of up to £40 million, it is evident that one club has a major advantage over Celtic in the quest for this prize.
Due to the Premiership Split in April 2022, there is a question about which clubs will form the ‘TOP SIX’ in the league after the ‘Split’.
However, I would suggest that the majority of Scottish football fans, pundits and media would agree that the ‘TOP SIX’ clubs will include the following ‘FIVE’ and one other.
CELTIC, RANGERS, ABERDEEN, HIBERNIAN and HEARTS.Using this assertion, a review of the fixtures list reveals the following shocking facts.
AWAY FIXTURES FACTSFACT 1 – CELTIC will play the FOUR clubs other named above AWAY from home twice up to the split in April 2022. So that’s Rangers 2 away, Aberdeen 2 away, Hearts 2 away, Hibernian 2 away = 8 games
RANGERS will only play the other FOUR clubs named above AWAY from home once up to the split in April 2022. So that’s Celtic 1 away, Aberdeen 1 away, Hearts 1 away, Hibernian 1 away = 4 games
FACT 2 – CELTIC will play 8 of their 17 away games up to the Split against the 4 clubs named above (Rangers, Aberdeen, Hearts, Hibernian) that’s 47% of all away games to the split.
RANGERS will play 4 of their 16 away games up to the Split against the 4 clubs named above (Celtic, Aberdeen, Hearts, Hibernian) that’s 25%% of all away games to the split.
FACT 3 – CELTIC will have played 4 of their away games against the 4 clubs named above by the end of October 2021. RANGERS will not meet any of the 4 clubs named above until the first week in December 2021.
FACT 4 – RANGERS, 45% of their away games up to the split, will be completed BEFORE they meet one of the 4 clubs mentioned above.
Neil Doncaster Photo: Andrew Milligan
FACT 5 – CELTIC will need to play 2 more away games against TOP 6 post-split, to get 19 away matches. So, in total CELTIC will play 10 of their 19 away games against TOP 6 Teams, 53% of away games. Excluding the other Top 6 team (not named) Celtic will play 47% of all of their away games against the 4 clubs named above. (9 from 19 away games).
RANGERS will need to play 3 more away games against TOP 6 post-split to get 19 away matches. So, in total RANGERS will play 7 of their 19 away games against TOP 6 Teams, 37% of away games. Excluding the other Top 6 team (not named) Rangers will play 32% of their away games against the 4 clubs named above (6 from 19 away games).
Photo Jeff Holmes
AWAY MATCHES 2021-2022CELTIC – Number of away matched up to the Split against named teams:
Rangers – 2 Aberdeen – 2 Hearts – 2 Hibernian – 2
CELTIC – % of away matches up to split against named teams – 47%
CELTIC – % of away matches after split against named – 47%
RANGERS – Number of away matched up to the Split against named teams:
Celtic – 1 Aberdeen – 1 Hearts – 1 Hibernian – 1
RANGERS – % of away matches up to split against named teams – 25%
RANGERS – % of away matches after split against named teams – 32%
Celtic Park Celtic temporary chief executive Michael Nicholson (centre) Photo: Jeff Holmes
The theory behind Football League competitions is to determine the best teams over a season with all teams playing each other on equal terms as outlined below. An early definition of how a football league competition works.
‘The most common format for a football league competition consists of each team playing the others twice at home and twice away. Three points for a win, one for a draw, and the team with the most points after all the games played on an equal basis is the champion’.
While we all appreciate that a 12-team league competition with a top and bottom 6 split creates anomalies. The inequalities in this fixture list are startling.
There is nothing equal about the facts listed above. Or, am I being paranoid, as we Celtic fans are often accused of being?
Author’s Name supplied but withheld on request.
Interesting stats here, we all realised that Celtic have had a tough start to the season but reckon that these things even themselves out over the course of the season. The above articles suggests that assumption may be wrong and given that the new Celtic Interim SEO Michael Nicholson is an accomplished football administrator surely it is his responsibility to ask some questions about these imbalances in the statistics shown above and do something about it going forward?
Or is the Celtic FC Board happy playing in a rigged game? Answers on a postcard to Auldheid…
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