Spurs looking to play “first few” games away in 2018/19 season

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Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

According to The Independent the club are set to play the first three or four games of the next Premier League season away from the new White Hart Lanestadium, as the final touches are added to our new ground.

It means our first Premier League game at the new stadium will be in September 2018, rather than when the season begins on 11th August.

The article says Daniel Levy confirmed in a meeting with the Tottenham Hotspur Supporters Trust held on 20th February that the club were “likely” to request to play the “first few matches” of next season away, as had always been our plan and the board are still very confident that we will be at the new White Hart Lane for next season.

The Premier League, as per every season, is sending out a fixture questionnaire this week to the clubs who will play in next season’s competition with the clubs told to return the questionnaire, by mid-March. In it they can specify any challenges they will face in scheduling games next season. It adds that we will ask that we play their first few league games away from home so they can get the new 61,000-seater stadium fully ready.

The article goes on to say that the Premier League fixture computer always initially generates a calendar where every team starts either home then away or away then home, however once the information from the questionnaires is inputted, there is room for fixtures to be switched to allow a run of away games at the start of a season.

This season there were four rounds of Premier League fixtures before the September international break. It adds that if we play our first three rounds of games away then they will not have to start at home until the weekend of 1st September. If we play the first four games away then they will not be at home until 15th September, after the internationals.

The article goes on to say that the Premier League has previously allowed Liverpool and West Ham United to start their season with a run of away games because their stadium was not ready on time. In 2016-17 Liverpool needed to start away because Anfield’s new stand was not ready yet. As such, their second game against Burnley was switched and they did not play at Anfield until 10th September, after the international break.

It adds how this season West Ham could not start at home because of the World Athletics Championships being held at the London Stadium, so they began with three away league games and did not play at home until 11th September, again after the internationals. Four is the maximum number of consecutive away games the Premier League will allow, and is also the number of league rounds before the first internationals.

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