June 20, 2024

The Premier League schedule for Sheffield United will take the fans’ travel plans into consideration, the club has informed them.

Although the governing body uses a computer to randomly assign its schedule, officials assigned to oversee the scheduling process do take a number of issues into consideration before launching the programme. They include the prospect of fans from rival teams travelling on the same train lines or road networks and also security issues, such as when the Metropolitan Police asked for high profile matches not to be staged in London during the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games.

Importantly, the PL admits it tries to “minimise travel on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day or an equivalent date.”

That could mean United, Yorkshire’s only representative in the top-flight next term, could be paired with rivals from the North-East, North-West or the Midlands in those slots.

“We look at whether we have clubs from the same area travelling on the same train lines across the Football league and the Premier League on the same day,” the PL states. “We want to avoid having ‘pinch points’ on the rail and road network.”

United, who gained promotion from the Championship last term, are set to discover their programme for the 2023/24 campaign on June 15th before embarking upon their third top-flight campaign in five seasons on August 12th.

They will also collaborate with the English Football League to ensure that United and Sheffield Wednesday are not paired at home on the same weekends when they devise their respective schedules.


Sheffield United will bring something very special to the Premier League

Sheffield United, the only team from the area to play in the Premier League the following season, wants to demonstrate to the world how the impact of fans can affect the outcome of games.

That is the aim of manager Paul Heckingbottom, whose squad regained its place at the top table of English football last season by winning automatic promotion from the Championship.

Speaking earlier this month, Heckingbottom expressed his hopes that United’s presence in the game’s most glamorous competition can help project South Yorkshire’s image as one of the sport’s most important and historic centres across the globe.

Central to that plan are the United supporters, with the 45-year-old stressing they have a huge role to perform in the club’s bid to establish itself at the highest level.

“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again,” Heckingbottom told The Star, “Our fans don’t understand how important they are for us. There’s times during games when I’ve felt them change the entire course of a match, either by getting right behind our lads when they’ve been going for it, helping them through a tough period or just by intimidating the opposition.

“So many others (manager) have mentioned that to me after we’ve met. So that tells you something. It tells you what I’m saying is true.”

“Honestly, there’s times down there on the touchline when it’s given me goosebumps,” he added. “You just want to stand back and soak it all up, even though you have to stay involved in the game.

“I think we can bring something really special to the table, in terms of that connection, next season, definitely.”

Heckingbottom is now beginning the process of bolstering the options at his disposal after receiving a transfer budget from owner Prince Abdullah bin Musa’ad bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, who could shortly receive an offer to sell the club from one of several US investors to express an interest in Bramall Lane.

After attracting admiring glances from United last season, Nottingham Forest’s Lewis O’Brien has again inevitably been linked but a goalscorer and a centre-half also feature on Heckingbottom’s wanted list despite the limited budget at his disposal.

“I think, with that link and the atmosphere here, we’ve got something special that we can offer,” Heckingbottom said.

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