Premier League avoids fixture clash with FA Cup final

Roberto Mancini
Roberto Mancini

The FA Cup final will be played on a day free from top-flight football after the Premier League agreed to delay its matches by 24 hours.

The Wembley showpiece is scheduled for Saturday, 5 May, and the Premier League programme has been moved to Sunday.

"We realise that it is not good for either competition to have our matches conflicting with the FA Cup," said a Premier League spokesperson.

The 2011 final was played on the same day as four Premier League matches.

A fixture pile-up caused the clash and resulted in Manchester City's FA Cup win over Stoke taking place just hours after Manchester United secured the title with a draw at Blackburn. with a draw at Blackburn.

However, the Premier League may be forced to move games back to 5 May should a top-flight team reach the Europa League final or if main television rights holder BSkyB demands it.

The Europa League final is the following Wednesday and the Premier League would allow any English finalists finalists an extra 24 hours to prepare by bringing their league match forward a day to Saturday.

BSkyB's contract with the Premier League allows it to choose a top-flight match to show on Saturday lunchtime if they wish.

The need for a break before Euro 2012 and the scheduling of the Champions League final on a Saturday has made it impossible to stage the FA Cup final on a weekend free of top-flight action.

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