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Fixtures v. Ties

Posted by Lewis on May 13, 2004

In Reply to: Fixtures v. Ties posted by dhm on May 13, 2004

: I am an American who has been watching a lot of British soc..., that is, football this year. I am perplexed by the words used to refer to games. As it seems to me, EP League games are called "fixtures" while games that are part of the oddly parallel universe of tournaments (FA Cup, for example) are called "ties".

: "Fixture" makes some sense, since the date of the game is fixed ahead of time in the EPL schedule. But where does "cup tie" come from?

when two clubs play each other in a cup competition, they are brought together and the word 'tie' is a metaphor for attached or connected with. I suppose one can call any game a 'tie' in that sense, but league games are pre-determined at the outset of each season and so the word 'fixture' is used of league matches in preference - it was fixed that they would need to play each other that season.

cups are unpredictable and deliberately so through "the draw" - even though the higher division teams come in later on, it is still possible that any team could play any other team that entered - e.g. in the FA Cup a team such as Bath University that applied to take part and had to play various preliminary rounds could end up playing 'at home' to Manchester United (although doubtless the game would be switched to a larger venue than Bath have available 'on police advice'). Some years back Woking played and beat West Brom in the FA cup and had to play a game at Everton - those matches were entire unexpected and as a result of the draw. last year, Farnborough Town played Arsenal in a switched tie - the money benefiting the "sports poisonality of the year" (as voted) Graham Westley, now manager of (half the same players at) Stevenage Borough.
"ties" - are perhaps such because the clubs' fate of progressing through the competition is linked.