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Arsenal’s February just got a bunch of changes

TV and cup competitions play some mild havoc.

Seen Around - February 2018 - New York Fashion Week: The Shows - Day 3 Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for New York Fashion Week: The Shows

One of the curses of modern sport is how beholden it is to broadcast interests. Yes, that big fat pile of money pays the bills for a lot of clubs, but in return for that, clubs have ceded almost all their scheduling control to said broadcast interests. Schedules are set at the beginning of a season, only to be raked over and re-mapped for appealing matchups or whatever.

For probably 99% of the people reading this blog, that’s not a huge deal - we’re not season ticket holders, we don’t go to matches, and the only thing we notice is maybe getting up earlier on a Sunday than on a Saturday as we’d planned.

But for both season ticket holders, who are probably used to this sort of thing by now, and more annoyingly, people who planned a vacation around a trip to see their favorite Premier League team, schedule changes can be brutal. Imagine you decided that your last full day in London should include your first trip to the Emirates to see Arsenal play, and then you’d fly home the next day, buzzing about how much fun you had.

Now, imagine that a month before said game, Arsenal was told that TV said the game you were supposed to go to was moved to Sunday, the day you’re going to fly home. Your plane ticket is either non-refundable, or subject to so many rebooking fees that it doesn’t make sense for you to change your flight, and you go home unhappy.

Is that thousands of people a week? No, it’s not. And broadcasters don’t care (nor, from a purely economic standpoint, should they). In a perfect world, schedules wouldn’t change, but we live in this world, with its imperfections and schedule flexibility and whatnot, so now Arsenal’s February sees two games kicking off on a Sunday that were previously scheduled for the day before, and one moved from Tuesday to Wednesday.

Adjust your viewing schedule accordingly, and I’m sure at least someone at the club feels bad if this news wrecks your vacation.