May 19, 2024

Why Premier League final games will kick off at same time on Sunday

Why Premier League final games will kick off at same time on Sunday

The 2023/24 Premier League season concludes on Sunday, May 19, with all 20 teams playing simultaneously on the final day.

The title race between Manchester City and Arsenal will be decided on this final day, while the relegation battle is almost settled.

Meanwhile, all ten fixtures kick off at 4 p.m Nigerian time, marking the only time in the season when a full round of games occurs at the same time on the same day.

Why are all Premier League games played simultaneously on the final day?

The primary reason for the simultaneous kickoffs is to ensure sporting fairness. When teams are competing for the title, European qualification, or to avoid relegation, their results can influence one another. Playing at the same time prevents any team from gaining an advantage by knowing the outcomes of other matches in advance.

Throughout the season, Premier League matches are spread across different times and days, creating strategic opportunities to apply pressure on rivals or respond to their results. However, the finality of the season’s closing weekend brings a consensus that simultaneous kickoffs are preferable. This setup amplifies the drama, as modern communication means teams are aware of rival results in real-time, enhancing the tension and excitement for fans and creating a captivating spectacle for television audiences.

When did the Final Day kick off start?

The coordinated conclusion of the English football season is a relatively recent development.

In the pre-Premier League era, fixture congestion often resulted in some matches being played after the official final day. This was highlighted by one of the most dramatic moments in English football history on May 26, 1989, when Arsenal’s re-arranged match against Liverpool saw the Gunners win the title in the dying seconds.

The Premier League initially did not always conclude with simultaneous kickoffs. For instance, during the inaugural 1992/93 season, Arsenal and Sheffield Wednesday played after the final weekend due to their FA Cup final commitments. It wasn’t until the 1995/96 season, after the league reduced to 20 teams, that the Premier League consistently scheduled all final day games simultaneously.

Premier League Titles Decided on the Final Day

This season marks the fifth time Manchester City have entered the final day with the title still undecided.

Memorable instances include Sergio Aguero’s iconic last-minute goal against Queens Park Rangers in 2011/12 and Ilkay Gundogan’s dramatic comeback against Aston Villa in 2021/22.

City also secured final-day titles in 2013/14 and 2018/19 with wins over West Ham and Brighton & Hove Albion, respectively.

Manchester United, under Sir Alex Ferguson, won the title on the final day three times.

Notable occasions include the 1995/96 win at Middlesbrough, the 1998/99 triumph as part of their historic treble, and the 2007/08 victory at Wigan Athletic.

Chelsea’s 2009/10 demolition of Wigan Athletic on the final day ended United’s bid for a fourth consecutive title, a feat City aim to achieve this season.

As the final day unfolds, fans worldwide will be on edge, anticipating the culmination of another thrilling Premier League season.

Vanguard News