Staggered fixtures dull Premier League joy

It has been noticeable over the years how increasingly Premier League games are staggered across the week, presumably as part of the commercial dictates behind the sport. It was already stretching the tolerance of the fans to first divide games between Saturdays and Sundays; but to now divide them across as many as five days of a week, with some on Monday, some on Wednesday, and some not occurring at all, strips the competition of its intensity and makes it hard to follow with any sustained interest. It was news, but not surprising, to hear that Man City had a Premier League game the other day when none of their rivals seemed to have a game at all on that week. Beyond the immediate disorienting effects on fans, there is the loss of a more intangible quality that was associated with the traditional league kick-off time of 3pm on a Saturday and hearkened back to a time when the commercial growth of football did not yet stretch the patience of its fans with gimmicks and over-saturation that dulled the joy of the game. It is perhaps this sense of overload and fatiguing ever-presence of football content which has spurred fans to lose their sense of perspective between football and life, pleasure and work.

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