Ideally, football fixtures around the Christmas period should minimise the distance that football supporters have to travel. For instance, with restricted public transport running on Boxing Day, ideally the fixtures computer should serve up a local fixture/local derby on that day.
Last season, Villa were at home to Burton Albion, meaning visiting fans had a short 35 miles journey to get to Villa Park.
With teams having to play four games within 10 days, Villa’s holiday period offers up an away Boxing Day trip to London (Brentford) followed by a long trip up to Middlesbrough four days later. This week, Villa boss Steve Bruce voiced his displeasure at the fixtures.
“For football teams who are having to play four games. why we can’t stay local?” Bruce said. “To travel to Boro and come back, it’s nonsense to me.”
Bruce then pointed out the it’s certainly not fair on Villa supporters.
“We’re asking people to travel in the depths of winter and the holiday season up to Boro and no doubt we’ll take thousands, but come on – let’s make life a bit more comfortable and I can’t really understand that.
“Why we can’t be playing a Derby, Burton or Nottingham Forest is bizarre to me.”
Ultimately though, while Villa face a Christmas period of inconvience, it’s now all about points and not miles.
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