Manchester United fans have labelled their latest fixture change “naked commercial opportunism” and are seeking compensation for supporters left out of pocket.
FSF-affiliates Manchester United Supporters’ Trust (MUST) have criticised the Premier League and Sky Sports for moving their home fixture against Everton, picked initially for a early kick-off on Saturday 27th October, to a late-Sunday slot the following day with no supporter consultation.
Sky Sports moved the fixture to the Sunday slot after Tottenham Hotspur vs Manchester City was moved to a Monday night kick-off due to delays with construction of the New White Hart Lane Stadium.
MUST said: “Yesterday’s announcement by Sky, changing the date of the Man Utd v Everton fixture from its previously confirmed TV slot on Saturday 27th October to their now vacated Sunday afternoon slot, is nothing short of naked commercial opportunism at the expense of match-going fans.
“The decision shows no regard for the many supporters who have made non-refundable travel arrangements following publication, on 7th August, of the confirmed October fixtures after changes for TV.”
Thousands of supporters will likely be affected by this latest intervention from the Premier League’s broadcasters.
MUST will now be gathering data from Manchester United fans who have been impacted by this late fixture-change and say they will be seeking compensation for those match-going supporters left out of pocket.
“It appears to be too late to reverse this unwarranted late change which has affected so many loyal supporters,” MUST said today.
“We therefore call on Sky and the Premier League to commit to full financial compensation for any financial loss or additional costs incurred by supporters of both teams.
“We are seeking urgent dialogue with the broadcasters and the Premier League to address this specific issue and to establish new principles and processes to take proactive account of match-going supporters to prevent any recurrence of this regrettable issue. We are also in conversation with our own club to seek their support in these actions.”
The decision by Sky Sports is the latest to have significant impact on match-going fans - with the issues around broadcasters’ interference in the fixture list becoming a rapidly growing area of work for the FSF’s Kick Off Times Working Group.
Thanks to PA Images for the image used in this news story.