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BT Sport’s latest fixture move leaves fans out of pocket

This is a story from the FSF archive – the FSF and SD merged to become the FSA in 2019.

Fans of several Premier League clubs will be left out of pocket this February after BT Sport refused to change the conditional picks it made in the previous round of TV selections.

Back in December, a number of games involving Manchester City were selected for broadcast by BT Sport for late-February. However, the broadcaster said these would not be broadcast if the Citizens reached the League Cup final.

Manchester City have since reached the League Cup final meaning BT Sport’s conditional picks have impacted on a number of other teams originally not included in the TV release back in December.

Rather than lose out on its original TV picks, BT Sport sought replacement teams to fill its slots, creating the following new kick-off times with just four weeks’ notice:

  • Saturday 23 February 2019 – 17:30 Leicester City v Crystal Palace (BT Sport) (*New live selection due to postponement of Everton v Man City)
  • Tuesday 26 February 2019 – 20:00 Newcastle United v Burnley (BT Sport) (*New live selection due to Man City v West Ham moving to 27th February)

Elsewhere, Everton’s home game against Manchester City has been brought forward by 17 days with just ten days’ notice. The fixture was originally selected for TV broadcast by BT Sport on Saturday 23rd in the 5.30pm kick-off and will be now instead be played on Wednesday 6th February at 7.45pm.

Though Manchester City were in the semi-final of the League Cup BT Sport still selected them for live broadcast – despite knowing that the chance of these game being moved a second time would be very high. City played Burton Albion in the League Cup semi-final and won 10-0 on aggregate.

Now fans of other clubs who weren’t included in the December TV release are being impacted by BT Sport’s behaviour. The FSF office has already had a number of Crystal Palace and Burnley fans asking how they can pursue refunds for money lost on accommodation and travel.

FSF chief executive Kevin Miles said: “The original selection of these Manchester City fixtures for broadcast despite knowing that they would almost certainly be moved again suggests that BT Sport really couldn’t care less about match-going fans.

“Inconveniencing supporters of five other clubs long since knocked out the League Cup raises this disregard to another level.

“Even with the usual deadlines for notice and guidelines for selection, changes to kick-off times and even dates are already hugely challenging for fans. These conditional TV picks, with their impossibly short notice periods, have a huge impact on an already busy schedule and simply shouldn’t be allowed.”

Thanks to PA Images for the image uesd in this article.

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