Yet again we are seeing the breathtaking contempt the authorities have for fans, with Premier League fixtures moved without any consideration for fans.
In an astonishing move (although, there again possibly not – judged on past behaviour) the Premier League has agreed that Newcastle’s match at Norwich will be moved with only two weeks notice, if Delia Smith’s team get through to the fourth round of the FA Cup.
We’ve already had a midweek trip to Swansea and in the past many fans will remember matches away at Norwich on New Year’s Eve and at Southend (lost 4-0 as well!) on New Year’s Day, for a noon kick-off that wasn’t even televised!
In this day and age it would be a simple task to use computer software to ensure you didn’t get these daft midweek fixtures, though as this latest episode with the Premier League shows – when nobody in power gives a toss with regard to the impact fixture timings have on fans, we are wasting our breath.
Newcastle United made a protest to the Premier League which was knocked back and this is the club statement explaining the situation;
The Premier League has notified the Club that the Norwich City v Newcastle United League fixture, originally scheduled for Tuesday 28th January at Carrow Road, will be moved to Wednesday 29th January should Norwich City progress to the FA Cup 4th Round.
Newcastle United strongly opposed this potential fixture change due to the major impact it will have on the loyal fans who have already booked match tickets, travel and accommodation.
However, after considering both clubs’ representations, the Premier League Board granted Norwich City’s request to move the fixture, thereby completely disregarding the impact this will have on our fans.
At a time when the League are encouraging clubs to come up with initiatives to address reduced away supporter numbers, the disruption to Newcastle United fans further compounds a fixture selection clearly against the principles of encouraging away supporters to travel, given those making the journey from Tyneside are facing a midweek evening round-trip of 520 miles.
Newcastle United notes that a condition of this potential fixture change was that Norwich City had to provide an undertaking for the reimbursement of any match day tickets returned by home or away supporters unable to attend the re-arranged match, as well as giving consideration to the cost of travel for away supporters.
Confirmation of the final fixture date will follow the FA Cup 3rd Round Replay result between Norwich City and Fulham on Tuesday 14th January.