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

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

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.

It’s relentless work and difficult to deliver results but it’s still a relatively new area of work and they’re making progress.

Yesterday, the Premier League announced its latest raft of TV picks for the league’s fixtures in April. Once again throwing up many challenges for match going fans.

You can find a spreadsheet from our Kick-off Times Working Group highlighting all the games where no public transport is available here. The group has some early thoughts on the most problematic fixtures in this round of games:

  • Why is Tottenham Hotspur vs Manchester City (April 14th, 7.45pm) on a Saturday when this isn’t a usual TV slot and the Premier League always insist they aren’t really interested in broadcasting at that time? 
  • A swathe of games (11 out of 20) could be moved again depending on FA Cup and Champions League commitments, meaning travel cannot be booked. 
  • Four matches where supporters are unlikely to get home by car by midnight, and four where there is no service train home. 
  • Unusually Liverpool are also at home on the same day as the Grand National with their match against AFC Bournemouth kicking off only 15 minutes after the race starts, which takes place only four miles away at Aintree. City mayor Joe Anderson branded the decision “madness”.

The work of our Kick-off Times Working Group is ongoing and will continue to raise these concerns with the Premier League and broadcasters.

You can find further background to our work in this area on our campaign page here.

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