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Premier League games moved with just 12 days notice

Despite announcing its latest round of TV selections weeks ago, the Premier League has altered the kick-off times of two games during its penultimate game week – leaving travelling fans out of pocket and forcing Manchester City fans to choose between a title battle or a cup final.

With just 12 days notice, the Premier League kick-off times at West Ham United v Manchester City and Everton v Brentford have been switched.

On Sunday 15th May, the match at the London Stadium will now take place at 2pm while the fixture at Goodison Park has been moved to 4.30pm.

The clubs and Premier League have not released any explanation for the scheduling change and supporters have been in touch with the FSA to say that they can no longer make the rearranged game or will lose money rebooking travel.

 

Manchester City’s game being moved means that their men’s fixture now clashes with the women’s team taking on Chelsea at 2pm in the women’s FA Cup final on the same day.

FSA chair Malcolm Clarke said: “We need to find out which of the clubs requested this change, when they requested it and why, and whether the Premier League took into account the effects on supporters.”

Of the four clubs involved, only Brentford have offered supporters refunds for their match tickets if they cannot make the new time.

“Given the fixture change and the disruption caused, Brentford FC has decided to credit all supporters who have already purchased a ticket for the match with the value of their Everton ticket,” they said.

“This credit will be added to the accounts of those who have already bought tickets for the match.

“We apologise for the inconvenience of this late change to the kick-off time but hope the credit for those who have already purchased their tickets will help to compensate for any change in travel plans.”

What does the FSA think?

The Premier League has consistently missed its own target dates this season for announcing broadcast changes – it’s something we spoke to them about repeatedly as every time it happens, supporters lose out.

The Premier League promised improved communication – but there’s been no explanation for the latest changes. This isn’t just an issue in the top-flight either, it’s a problem in the EFL and the women’s game.

We believe there should be a 12-week minimum notice period for league games so that fans can book time off work and have the best access to affordable rail tickets or other public transport options.

The football industry should revive talks with rail operating companies to introduce flexible football tickets which are tied to fixtures, rather than specific dates, meaning fans can book affordable travel in advance, with peace of mind.

Late changes to kick-off times also means more fans travelling via cars, as public transport might not be available, which undermines aims to reduce the game’s environmental impact.

The FSA has recently partnered with Pledgeball, an organisation that rallies football fans to help tackle the developing climate crisis, and we’d encourage supporters groups across the game to get involved.

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