Countdown to Kick-Off
The dawn of a new football season is a wonderful time for fans – and bar managers. With a little preparation and promotion, you can ensure your venue is the place to watch all the action this year.
After a summer notable for the absence of any major international tournaments, top-flight football finally returns in August. Transfer speculation can quench supporters’ appetite to a point, but nothing beats the real thing. Fans are gagging for the start of the new season and you should be too.
As ever, BT Sport is at the heart of all this unmissable action. Here is a rundown of what you should be looking out for in the opening weeks of the season…
Community Shield – 6 August
The traditional season curtain raiser. This year’s match sees Premier League champions Chelsea take on the team that beat them in May’s FA Cup Final, Arsenal. With no love lost between the two sides expect a lot of interest in this game from fans and neutrals alike.
UEFA Super Cup – 8 August
Champions League winners Real Madrid square up to Europa League winners Manchester United. Exclusively live on BT Sport.
The appeal of the Premier League shows no sign of diminishing – this season should be the most open in recent memory with Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool all out to topple holders Chelsea.
Old favourites Newcastle United return, while new boys Brighton & Hove Albion and Huddersfield Town make their Premier League bow. Indeed, the opening weekend sees Brighton host Pep Guardiola’s all-star Man City a game only shown on BT Sport.
Other games exclusively live on BT Sport before the end of September include Stoke City v Arsenal; Manchester United v Leicester City; Stoke City v Manchester United; Tottenham Hotspur v Swansea City; Leicester City v Liverpool and Chelsea v Manchester City.
UEFA Champions League
After the final qualifying round in mid-August (look out for Liverpool and Celtic), the group games return on 12/13 September. With holders Real Madrid, plus Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Juventus, all safely in the group stages, alongside the British contingent of Chelsea, Spurs, Man City and Man Utd, it’s safe to say this season’s Champions League will be must-see viewing.
UEFA Europa League
Arsenal fly the flag for Britain in the Europa League, and Everton will hope to join them after the qualifying rounds. The Thursday group games kick off on 14 September.
Over six weeks, between mid-September and mid-December, there will be games on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights. This gives you a real chance to get your pub full on the traditional quiet nights of the week. BT Sport is the exclusive home of European club football so let your customers – and potential customers – know you’re the place to watch all the action.
Promoting the big games is key. To that end, we have a range of social media assets for all our matches. These are available to download – for FREE – from the Customer Zone of our website.
Key dates at a glance
August 6 Community Shield: Arsenal v Chelsea
August 8 UEFA Super Cup: Manchester United v Real Madrid*
August 12: Premier League: Brighton & Hove Albion v Manchester City
August 15 Champions League Play-off round: TBA*
August 16 Champions League Play-off round: TBA*
August 19: Premier League: Stoke City v Arsenal
August 22 Champions League Play-off round: TBA*
August 23 Champions League Play-off round: TBA*
August 26 Premier League: Manchester United v Leicester City
September 9 Premier League: Stoke City v Manchester United
September 12-13 Champions League: Matchday One*
September 14 Europa League: Matchday One*
September 16 Premier League: Tottenham Hotspur v Swansea City
September 23 Premier League: Leicester City v Liverpool
September 26-27 Champions League: Matchday Two*
September 28 Europa League: Matchday Two*
September 30 Premier League: Chelsea v Manchester City
October 17-18 Champions League: Matchday Three*
October 19 Europa League: Matchday Three*
October 31-November 1 Champions League: Matchday Four*
November 2 Europa League: Matchday Four*
November 21-22 Champions League: Matchday Five*
November 23 Europa League: Matchday Five*
December 5-6 Champions League: Matchday Six*
December 7: Europa League: Matchday Six*
*Matches only available on BT Sports Total. To upgrade from BT Sport 1 to BT Sports Total, please call our service team on 0800 876 6468.