Premier League fixtures for the 2015/16 season have been released and to explain the mysterious process, the league’s official website published an interview with fixture list compiler Glenn Thompson. The following is an exact reproduction of that interview.
When does the work start?
Well, it never really ends. To be honest, I’m always trying to come up with ways to hurt Jose Mourinho’s chances of winning, as the Grand Campaign against him demands, but at the start of the year I get the playing dates from the Premier League, so that’s when I can really dig into it.
Are there any rules you have to adhere to?
Not really. The only rule is to do whatever is possible to annoy Jose Mourinho. We call that the “golden rule” of fixture listing. And life.
Do clubs from the same area play at home on the same day?
We try to avoid that as best we can, but if it means Jose Mourinho will hit a frustrating amount of traffic on his way to the ground, we’ll make it happen. That’s probably the best part of the job. When you can get Mourinho spitting fire before he even gets out of the car it’s always a special day.
How do the fixtures get processed?
With a computer. The Mourinho Hater 9000. It’s the most advanced technology available today. The world’s top scientists are all united in their desire to destroy Jose Mourinho, so they volunteer their time to keep our computing power at the cutting edge.
What happens if there are any problems?
Well, if it’s a problem for a team that isn’t Jose Mourinho’s, we resolve it immediately. But if it’s a problem for Mourinho’s team, we have a party with beer and cakes.
How is the fixture list checked?
We let every Premier League manager have a look at it and make any changes they want well in advance. All of them except for Mourinho. Obviously. We’ve considered sending him pictures of them as they’re doing it, but then he’d completely lose it once and for all and the fun would be over.
Do you consider travel issues?
Yes, again, we maximize them for Mourinho and limit them for everyone else. And if we can complicate his arrangements for other competitions, we consider that a bonus. We call it a Jose Jumblejam. There’s a dance we do when it happens.
Is it the impossible job?
Annoying Jose Mourinho? No way. It’s super easy. Anyone could do it. We could compile the fixture list completely at random and he’d still think we were out to get him.