all football teams will play each other twice next season


It seems like it was just Tuesday when England were closing the curtain on the men’s season. Oh, how we’ve missed football since that day. We’re kicking rolled-up socks around the room in hopes of making up for the lack of action on the television box – it didn’t – and ironically we end up with a cracked plasma screen. We really shouldn’t mend our socks so heavily.

What a joy was felt on Thursday morning when we woke up at 11:35am after a night in the grog, rubbed our bleary eyes and found that the Premier League games for 2022-23 were out to finally give us something we can look forward to once again. We analyzed every game: Liverpool v Manchester City, Fulham v Leeds, Bournemouth v West Ham, all the big ones. We’ve even crafted a wall board to write which games we’ll be putting on big television each weekend. Naturally, we send our apologies for various family occasions for the year ahead, priorities and such.

“You can’t satisfy everyone,” sighed Glenn Thompson, the big brain in charge of putting it all together, as conspiracy theorists pointed to Manchester United opening at home – against Brighton – for the sixth straight season, while others seethed with the realization. Liverpool’s injustice to start against a newly promoted team – Fulham – for the fourth year in a row. “There are 2,036 matches in the Premier League and Football League over a nine-month period, and the ideal solution is to ensure that all of those matches can be played when scheduled.” Or rescheduled at the last minute for broadcast reasons.

We are already imagining what will happen when Bournemouth host Southampton on Tuesday 18 October. Will autumn air make a difference on the south coast? Will leaves fall on the field and deflect the ball past Mark Travers to secure a last-minute win for the Saints? So many unknown factors could affect a potentially season-defining game, but now we’ll have to wait months to find out. Turns out, after a long, hard look at the games, going through them meticulously week by week, all teams play each other home and away (a little Fiver exclusive to you) and – 🚨BREAKING!!!🚨 – the club with the most points at the end of the season will win the championship, while those with the three lowest scores will be relegated. Let the games begin (in two months).


Join Sarah Rendell from 8pm BST for England’s 3-1 Belgium MBM coverage in the women’s international friendly.


“If we want to compete with screen temptations… it takes more than maintaining tradition and nostalgia” – now, Weird Uncle Fiver may be a lost cause when it comes to screen temptations, but Dutch FA amateur director O American football player Jan Dirk van der Zee hopes other fans will join in with plans for new laws in football, such as kick kicks, flying substitutions and free kick dribbling.


“While I doubt that Sallai, Nagy and Gazdag will become as famous as Hidegkuti, Puskás and Bozsik for taking a beating in England, this result means that the brave Three Lions are now on the right track to ensure that It’s Coming Home! until 2035?” – Steve Wardinski.

“No Football Weekly branded beer glasses (last line from yesterday)? Do the marketing people behind the store know anything about Football Weekly listeners? – Joe Pearson [could we not get some Fiver merch? – Fiver Commercial Ed].

“I see Gmail has started truncating my copy of The Fiver in a somewhat inappropriate place, or maybe it’s trying to tell me something” – Tim Grey.

Send your letters to [email protected] And you can always tweet The Fiver via @guardian_sport. Today’s winner of our no-prize letter of the day is… Tim Grey.


Max, Barry and the pod squad are back on the road. The last remaining tickets for live shows in June and July are available here.


Suzy Wrack’s new book, A Woman’s Game, has just been released and you can now purchase your copy at the Big Website bookstore.


Just when you thought the French authorities couldn’t be more ashamed, we learn that riot gear was deployed in the Champions League final because of Hillsborough’s mistaken association with vandalism. “This is a total and outrageous failure to understand the disaster,” said Louise Brookes, whose brother Andrew was one of the 97 killed. “And this prejudice that Liverpool fans are hooligans, based on a complete misunderstanding of something that happened 33 years ago, almost caused another disaster in Paris, for a new generation of Liverpool fans.”

Meanwhile, the French government official investigating the chaos in Paris, in which police used tear gas on nine-year-old fans, accepts that there are “many regrets” about what happened, but still says the preparations were robust. “Crowd control could have been better,” joked Michel Cadot, the Ministry of Sport’s delegate for major events, with spectacular understatement.

Steph Houghton was not part of England’s squad for Euro 2022 this summer, but Fran Kirby is among the 23 finalists. “It’s hard for all the players that we have to let down,” sighed manager Sarina Wiegman. “Of course she was very disappointed. I know she went out of her way to get it, so she wasn’t happy. She just took the arguments I gave her and we left it for now and will get back to you later.”

Leah Williamson, who is 23rd, gets a royal visit at practice.

Leah Williamson, who is 23rd, gets a royal visit at practice. Photography: WPA/Getty Images

Real Madrid president Florentino Pérez has claimed that French president Emmanuel Macron intervened to persuade Kylian Mbappé to sign a new contract with PSG. “Macron called Mbappé, it makes no sense,” he sobbed. “PSG offered him to be the project leader, it changed everything.”

Pep Guardiola loves a challenge so will be delighted that Manchester City have added Erling Haaland to an embarrassingly weak squad – and it looks like Brighton’s Marc Cucurella is next.

So is poor Jürgen Klopp, whose limited financial strength is proving to be a real problem. Having speculated with Fabio Carvalho and spent God knows what with Darwin Núñez, he will now throw £6.5m at Aberdeen for Calvin Ramsay.

Barnsley has chosen Cheltenham’s Michael Duff as his new manager. “Now I’m here, in the stadium, wearing the uniform, I can’t wait to meet the players”, he applauded, not realizing that he is not one.

And in motivational news, dozens of Botafogo fans invaded the club’s training center to protest with players and officials about their poor form, which left them in the relegation zone of Brazil’s Serie A.


“Gareth Southgate’s is another managerial reign that tells us far more about England and the deep cultural illusions of English football than it does about tactics, formations, penalties and all the rest.” Read Barney Ronay.

On the plane or on the couch? Nick Ames looks at how England’s squad for the Human Rights World Cup is shaping up.

Things are not particularly rosy in the garden of France, reports Raphaël Jucobin.

Apple’s $2.5 billion deal will steal the MLS’s soul the way Sky extracted English football, muses Graham Ruthven.

And if you like Tim… you can follow Big Website on Big Social FaceSpace. AND INSTAGAT, ALSO!


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