There may have been another major leak in the Premier League. Ten days before the official release of the 2016-17 Premier League schedule on June 15, a document that purports to be the new schedule was leaked on Twitter. The document contains the overall week-by-week fixture schedule as well as individual schedules for all 20 EPL teams.
In the gamut of leaked documents, this one perhaps isn't the most explosive, but it would be an embarrassment for the Premier League since they tend to keep these kinds of things close to their vest. However, for those of you who like opening your presents before Christmas, here's the schedule for Tottenham Hotspur.
What can we learn from this document? Well, a number of things.
Spurs' schedule starts off easy.
Tottenham will open their 2016-17 Premier League campaign at home to Swansea City, and face extremely winnable matches against Hull City and Stoke City in August. But then...
The month of September looks brutal.
September looks to be a killer month, starting with a Battle of Stamford Bridge rematch and following it up with consecutive home matches against Manchester United and Liverpool. All three clubs are likely going to be either in or hanging around the top four next season. In addition, September will mark the first two group stage matches of the Champions League on Sept. 13-14 and Sept. 27-28. While we don't know Spurs' UCL schedule yet, it looks like one of the worst gauntlets Spurs will have to face all season.
December doesn't start pretty, but the holiday run-in looks doable.
West Ham at home, Manchester City away and a home North London Derby is a pretty terrible way to start the holiday season, and you can throw another Champions League group stage match in there too. But after that, the schedule lightens up in the congested holiday period, with a trip to Watford and a Boxing Day trip to West Brom, and a home tie against Southampton to close out 2016. (Unfortunately, 2017 starts out with a January 2 trip to Anfield.)
Spurs have a super favorable run-in, and the last match is at White Hart Lane.
If you're a person who thinks that an easier schedule in the last month of the season gives certain clubs an edge in a hypothetical title race, then you'll like Spurs' month of May. Tottenham will close out the season with a home match against Everton, a trip to promoted Middlesbrough, and will usher out the White Hart Lane era on the last day of the season by hosting Burnley. This runs counter to previous ITK which suggested that Spurs requested to play away the last two weeks of the season to get a jump on stadium construction. Instead, they'll get to send White Hart Lane off in style, hopefully by lifting the Premier League trophy.
WARNING: this might be totally fake!
It's important to note here that we're taking this document as genuine without a whole lot to go on. The Twitter account that leaked the schedule, @footballanon24, also leaked the schedules for the Championship, League One, and League Two. All of the documents look like they were created on Google Docs, and some of them have super low-quality graphics. While league schedules are complicated things, it would be easy enough to do with the aid of computers. However, it's also possible that while the documents themselves aren't official, the information on them is true.
My hunch, and it's only a hunch, is that this EPL schedule is legit, even if the documents aren't official. But we won't know for sure until June 15 when the schedule is officially released. And if this is wrong, then we'll be the first to say so!
What do you think of this proposed schedule? Thoughts? Concerns? Share your opinions in the comments below.
It's a faaaaaaaaaake! Both the Premier League and the Football League have come out and said that the fixture schedule is a hoax. The twitter account that first leaked the schedules has been deleted. Rats.
Official Statement: "We understand the excitement that a new set of Premier League fixtures holds to the fans and media." 1/3— Premier League (@PLSpokesman) June 6, 2016
"What has been put into the public domain over this last weekend is a hoax." 2/3— Premier League (@PLSpokesman) June 6, 2016
"We would encourage all fans and media to wait for the official release on 15 June.” 3/3— Premier League (@PLSpokesman) June 6, 2016