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Opinion

I know it is not fashionable to feel sorry for Liverpool fans but here goes

6 months ago
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Liverpool fans have been moaning.

Nothing new about that you might say as many of them do have a bit of a reputation for coming across as appearing to believe themselves to be entitled.

However, on this occasion, they do deserve our sympathy.

As indeed do the Leicester fans.

For all match-going fans of Premier League clubs the changes to games due to Live TV requirements announced yesterday, are absolutely disgraceful. Absolutely zero regard paid to the fans who are a key ingredient of making that spectacle for TV viewers around the world.

Amongst the many issues thrown up by Thursday’s announcement is the Boxing Day schedule.

Amazon Prime have the rights to all 10 games and to accommodate them, you have the action kicking off as early as 12.30pm with Tottenham v Brighton, then Newcastle United and Man Utd fans are landed with a 5.30pm kick-off.

However, the unpalatable cherry on the very top of the icing  is Leicester v Liverpool at 8pm on Boxing Day.

I think we can safely say that nobody making these TV decisions relies much on public transport…

There is a theory that if you left a load of monkeys in a room with typewriters, they would eventually come up with the entire works of Shakespeare.

Well this is maybe what the Premier League and broadcasters have done with these TV changes, only problem being that this is the monkeys’ first attempt…maybe in a hundred years or so they will manage to produce an end result that isn’t a total joke for the fans.

The Liverpool fans group, Spirit of Shankly, have put out a statement (see below) which is well worth a read. It perfectly sums up the disgraceful decision to have a game so late on Boxing Day night. As they point out, it isn’t a massive inconvenience for fans but also many others, such as emergency services and the many who work at the stadium on minimum wage.

In a way, I think it is even worse for Leicester supporters than Liverpool fans.

At least the scousers can make a conscious decision now, whether or not to buy a ticket.

However, tens of thousands of Leicester fans have already paid via their season tickets, when they bought them they will never have expected that one of those matches, arguably the most attractive of the season, would be then moved to such a ridiculous time.

Until ALL supporters of ALL clubs come together to say enough is enough things will only continue to get worse, rather than the authorities to magically accept that what they are doing is so crass and unacceptable.

Statement from Liverpool fans group – Spirit of Shankly:

The latest round of televised Premier League games has been announced and once again there is scant, if any, consideration given to match-going supporters and those employed at the stadiums.

The traditional Boxing Day fixture is eagerly anticipated by fans all over the country – a chance to enjoy the game with family and friends during the festive period. But this late release of fixture dates and times means it has been impossible to plan.

Liverpool’s Boxing Day match away to Leicester City has been earmarked for TV with a kick-off time of 8pm. There is no national train service running on this day and local public transport is likely to be severely reduced – if operating at all by the time of the game finishing.

Both sets of supporters will encounter difficulty getting to and from the stadium. LFC fans not in cars, are left to hope coaches are available for this late time. They will not get home until after midnight and the following day is back to work for many. Added cost will no doubt be incurred with companies charging extra for unsociable hours – will fans be recompensed in any way?

And let’s not forget the Leicester City employees and those working in public services who will be required to work these hours. How will they get there, and how will they get home?

A consequence of such a disdainful, zero-consideration change means LFC’s following fixture, at home to Wolves, is also to be moved to Sunday 29 December, again with inconvenience and negative implications for fans and workers.

The Premier League and TV companies repeatedly ignore the welfare of supporters. But they do have a chance to redeem themselves.

Spirit of Shankly call on the authorities to do the right thing and revert all Boxing Day fixtures to a sensible kick-off time. We suggest 3pm.

#nohoho

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