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Burnley-Luton fixture move “unacceptable”

Luton Town’s trip to Turf Moor this month has been moved with just five days’ notice following their draw in the FA Cup on Sunday – an “unacceptable” move say Burnley fans that once again highlights the serious problem with “conditional” TV selections.

The Premier League game between the two sides was originally pencilled in for a televised Monday night kick-off slot when the league released the TV selections for December and January back in October.

However, that game will now take place on Friday 12th January (7:45pm) instead of the originally scheduled Monday 15th – moved with just five days’ notice following Luton Town’s draw in the FA Cup on Sunday. That tie will be replayed on Tuesday 16th January forcing the league game to be shifted to a Friday.

The fixture was one of the most caveated conditional TV selections we’ve ever seen and could have ended up being played on three possible days (Friday evening, Sunday afternoon or Monday night) depending on how both teams progressed through the EFL and FA Cups.

The conditions placed on Burnley vs Luton Town in the original January TV selections © Premier League

Tony Scholes from Up the Clarets said: “To be sat waiting for the result of a game to decide the date of the next game now less than a week later is just totally unacceptable, worse still given that this could have been easily avoided by using one of the other two dates and times available.

“Given there are now no Premier League games on the Friday evening and the two Sunday games kick-off later, why on earth was this game not given either the Sunday or the Friday date in the first place?

“This change will seriously inconvenience some of our supporters but it will inconvenience the Luton Town supporters even more.”

What does the FSA think?

Conditional TV selections are becoming a major headache for matchgoing fans – particularly away fans with more games being moved multiple times to accommodate the wants of broadcasters.

Although most matchgoing fans are familiar with the fixture congestion caused by replays it’s clear that TV’s insistence on this particular game being a Monday night kick-off has been an aggravating factor.

We’ve raised this problem with leagues, broadcasters and the authorities repeatedly but little progress has been made. We are going to keep banging this drum.

TV selections should not come with multiple caveats – supporters need to have certainty about when games are being played so they can make their arrangements in good time. If a game is at risk of being moved twice or more we don’t think it should be eligible for selection – simple as that.

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