TONY GILLAN: Why fixtures left Sunderland fans smirking – and celebrating no ridiculous trips

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The Premier League fixtures are out.

The Premier League fixtures are out.

Sunderland supporters have paid less than usual attention. Their main interest in the fixtures is largely confined to smirking because their list contains no derby.

Middlesbrough fans are just happy to see the names of Manchester United, Liverpool Arsenal etcetera and not those of Burton and Bristol City.

Closer examination shows that neither club faces ridiculous journeys to the furthermost destinations in the pit of winter, as Sunderland did last season when they had to make the 672-mile round trip to Swansea on a Wednesday in January,

Television will complicate things, but that’s something we have to endure if clubs are to rake in vast sums of cash.

But as it stands it seems that the fixture makers have shown – you may wish to sit down for this – some thought for travelling fans.

Will similar consideration be shown when the Football League fixtures are published on Wednesday? Or will they be more traditional and make Brighton travel to Newcastle or Hartlepool to Plymouth on New Year’s Eve?