Fans out of pocket after TV change should be compensated says MP

Camera Man at Football Ronnie MacDonald

The leader of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Football Supporters is calling on fans left out of pocket by the latest TV fixture changes to be compensated.

Yesterday, the Premier League and Sky Sports announced that Newcastle United’s visit to Goodison Park to play Everton, originally scheduled for a 3pm kick-off on Saturday 21st April, has been moved to the Monday after for TV broadcast.

The move, to accommodate Arsenal’s possible continued involvement in the Europa League, came despite April’s TV selections in the Premier League being published last month. Arsenal’s fixture against West Ham United has also been moved as part of the changes.

Gateshead MP Ian Mearns, head of the APPG for Football Supporters, is calling on travelling Newcastle United fans who have already paid out on transport and accommodation to be compensated.

Mearns told the Newcastle Evening Chronicle: “Our last [APPG] meeting but one was about TV rescheduling football matches.

“We were given all of these undertakings from Sky, the Premier League, the FA - that they were going to try and minimise it as much as possible.

“These tickets have already been on sale for Newcastle fans travelling to Everton. They have already booked trains, buses have been booked by supporter groups and yet it is changed to a Monday night when the vast majority of supporters will have work to deal with.”

The fixture move to accommodate TV broadcast with just four weeks’ notice is the latest in a line of incidents that have affected match-going fans.

Earlier this month, Sky Sports moved Aston Villa’s away trip to Norwich City twice within 24 hours – having originally been slated in for an evening kick-off on Saturday, Sky then moved the match to an early kick-off after securing the Manchester derby for TV broadcast.

An FSF spokesperson said: “Once again it’s the most dedicated match-going fans who are clobbered to serve the interests of TV broadcasters. Not only have many travelling fans been denied the chance to see their team, plenty will be left out of pocket too having already booked travel and accommodation.

“We will continue to lobby the footballing authorities and broadcasters to minimise TV’s impact on match-going supporters.”

Thanks to Ronnie MacDonald for the image used in this article. Reproduced here under Creative Commons license.