Whatever their reasoning might be, for TV companies to dictate that a match date can be changed only seven days in advance, is a total disgrace.
Yet that is what Newcastle fans yesterday, having been asked to buy tickets and make travel arrangements for the match at Brentford on Monday 16 January, despite everybody (especially the TV executives/EFL) knowing that if either Brentford or Newcastle drew in the third round, then the match would be moved forward two days.
Whilst Brentford dispatched Eastleigh, Newcastle let a lead slip at St Andrew’s and now face a replay on Wednesday 18 January, ensuring Brentford away is now the original date of Saturday 14 January.
You have to honestly ask, why schedule a live TV match on this date for any teams, in the full knowledge that an FA Cup replay knocks it on the head? Next thing you’ll be saying that they don’t give a toss about supporters…
On top of that fixture change, we also had the knowledge that if either Newcastle or Brighton made it through to the fourth round, then that meant the Brighton v Newcastle game on Saturday 28 January would be then have to also be rearranged, as that is the fourth round weekend.
Brighton duly beat MK Dons, so Newcastle fans who are regular travellers find themselves once again disadvantaged.
Not half as bad as the Brentford debacle but still, to get decent travel deals especially by train, fans have to book up early, so more inconvenience.
The immediate Newcastle fixture list now looks like this for Newcastle United:
Saturday 14 January 3pm – Brentford v Newcastle
Wednesday 18 January 7.45pm – Newcastle v Birmingham (3rd round FA Cup replay)
Saturday 21 January 3pm – Newcastle v Rotherham
Weekend of Saturday 28 January – Newcastle in FA Cup 4th round action if beating Birmingham
(Brighton v Newcastle awaiting new date)
Wednesday 1 February 7.45pm – Newcastle v QPR
Saturday 4 February 3pm – Newcastle v Derby
The more eagle eyed of you may have noticed that if Newcastle lose against Birmingham it will mean four home games in a row after Brentford away, whilst if United beat Birmingham and are drawn at home it would be five home games in a row.
Let’s hope it is a feast and not a famine where results are concerned.
With Aleksandar Mitrovic’ injury proving nowhere near as bad as expected and Jonjo Shelvey back after Brentford, maybe things can start looking on the up again.
Though one or two positive signings wouldn’t do any harm either.