This afternoon the Premier League announced its first round of TV selections for the new season (the English Football League also announced their changes earlier this week). The FSF’s Kick-Off Times Working Group has issued the following statement:
Supporters are once again being asked to spend more of their time traipsing across the country to meet broadcasters’ needs at ridiculous times. Three more games are also being broadcast in September this season than were last season.
There are so many examples which put fans out it’s difficult to know where to begin, although TV’s efforts in giving Newcastle United fans 4pm Sunday kick-offs at Swansea City and Brighton stand out.
Other trips which will sting supporters include Manchester City’s trips to both Brighton on Saturday evening and Bournemouth on a Saturday lunchtime, Huddersfield Town at West Ham United on a Monday night, and Spurs’ trip to Newcastle for a 1.30pm Sunday start.
Meanwhile, Spurs and Burnley fans still await confirmation from the Premier League as to when their match, scheduled for 26 August – the same day as the Rugby League Challenge Cup Final at Wembley – will be played.
Supporters will also ask October and November’s fixtures cannot be announced at this time – this would allow match-going fans to book time off work and order advance rail tickets.
Katrina Law of Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust, who sits on the FSF’s kick-off times working group, added:
“Today’s announcement sees yet more inconvenience for match-going fans at the hands of the Premier League, Sky and BT Sport. It is clear there is still a long way to go before fans are properly considered by broadcasters and acknowledged as both integral to the success of the game and their product.
“We continue to call for urgent all-party consultation with the Premier League, broadcasters and fan organisations on this issue.”
Thanks to Action Images for the picture used in this news story.