Pulis puzzled by fixture programme

Tony Pulis feels it is "not right" Stoke have to continually play away games in the Barclays Premier League after their European matches.

Football News: Thomas Sorensen, Stoke

Furthermore, he thinks clubs should be able to discuss such issues with football authorities and television companies before the season starts.

Earlier this week Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson blamed television schedules for creating "ridiculous situations'' for teams playing in Europe, suggesting that the vast amount of money pumped into football by broadcasters means clubs have lost control of their fixture lists.

Potters boss Pulis has similar complaints, finding it "unbelievable" that his side, having already followed up three Europa League fixtures with domestic away games, face the same scenario another five times this term.

"Television revenue has been of enormous value to football clubs in England," Pulis said ahead of Stoke's European clash with Besiktas on Thursday night and league trip to Swansea on Sunday.

"But I also think there should be a chance for clubs, if they are in Europe, to sit down with the Premier League, the Football Association and the television companies and arrange the fixtures in a way that will help those clubs.

"If we are representing England, you'd expect the English FA to do their damnedest to give you the best opportunity to do well, not only domestically, but in Europe.

"I think there has to be a change somewhere along the line where you actually sit down before the fixtures come out.

"We know the dates that are given by UEFA early enough, so is there any chance we can work to a system where we are not playing six away games (after each of their Europa League Group E matches)?

"In fact it's eight, because we played two away games after two of our qualifying games, which is an unbelievable statistic.

"It is something we have to get on with, but personally I don't think it is right."

He added: "I don't think they have singled us out, I just think it's the way it has come out of the hat.

"But why couldn't we have sat down before the season started? We don't want any favours, but we want an even run at it, which would be playing four at home and four away."



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