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Labour call for flexible train tickets as TV picks disrupt fans again

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

As the Premier League season gets underway this weekend and more games are moved for TV, the Labour Party is calling for the League, broadcasters and rail companies to do more for travelling fans.

Labour say they want to see the introduction of a national flexible ticketing scheme for away fans who have to change trains if a match is moved at the behest of football’s major broadcasters.

Shadow sports minister Tom Watson said the party are concerned about the number of re-arranged fixtures that leave supporters with no public transport options home.

“When matches are switched for TV it is fans who pay the price, often forking out more for extra train tickets that cost more than their match tickets,” Watson said.

“In some cases fans cannot even get home because there are no trains available.

“We need more flexible ticketing and common-sense scheduling of fixtures to ensure that fans can get to and from games safely without breaking the bank.

“We would like to see the introduction of a flexible ‘fan-fare’ system, whereby tickets bought in advance can be transferred without a fee or extra mark-up when matches are switched for television.”

Labour’s announcement came on the same day that the latest round of broadcaster selections were made in the Premier League, with a raft of games being moved in October and November.

Supporters will again be facing more inconvenience as kick-offs move to accommodate broadcast selections.

Analysis by the FSF’s Premier League Kick-Off Times Working Group shows that 65 games will be displaced by broadcasters from August to November this season, 14 of which will see away fans travelling by car arrive home after midnight. 13 games will also leave fans with no train travel after full time.

Katrina Law, from Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust and member of the FSF Working Group said: “We’re realistic that TV games are here to stay so for us this is about minimising the impact.

“Since the introduction of the £30 away price cap in the Premier League, transport is by far the biggest cost for fans.

“This is something we’re keen to address with rail operators, broadcasters, the Premier League and their constituent clubs too.”

Thanks to Action Images for the image used in this blog. Reproduced here under CC license.

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Premier League TV picks: assessing the impact on match-going fans

Some of our Premier League supporter groups do great work analysing TV kick-off issues on behalf of the FSF and their fellow fans, identifying issues with each batch of fixtures and lobbying the football authorities and broadcasters for better treatment.

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