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.