BCFC: More Fixture Changes
Blues Trust is dismayed to learn that yet another fixture has been moved to accommodate Sky Sports. The club announced yesterday (Thursday 13 October) that the home match against Reading, originally planned for Saturday 17 December, has been rescheduled for Friday 16 December with an 8pm kick off.
This follows on closely from the rescheduling of the upcoming fixtures against QPR and Sunderland, both moved from Saturday afternoons to the Friday night before and both to satisfy the demands of Sky Sports. Taking into account the opening home game of the season against Huddersfield Town, that is now four home fixtures that have been moved so far this season.
What it means is that Blues will not now play a Saturday afternoon league match at home until Preston North End visit St. Andrew’s on 21 January 2023. A total of 15 weeks since last Saturday’s match against Bristol City.
Of course, the intervention of the World Cup throughout November and December has made this season unusual. And the 15-week period also includes the Christmas and New Year period, when Blues are currently due to be at home on a Thursday and a Sunday because of public holidays.
But 15 weeks is a significant period of time for supporters to have to wait to see their team play at home on a Saturday afternoon, still the traditional time for football matches in this country even though the Trust acknowledges that this tradition is slowly but surely being eroded. Night games can throw up many challenges for supporters, and particularly so season ticket holders who may have made a decision to purchase a ticket on the reasonable assumption that most football at St. Andrew’s was likely to be experienced on a Saturday afternoon. Night games, even with a period of notice, can be difficult for many supporters especially those that work and those with young children and other family or carer commitments. And they can also be difficult for supporters who travel from afar to watch the Blues, and not least in the middle of winter.
Of course, the money paid by Sky Sports is important given the nature of the modern game. And, given its financial contribution, it is understood that Sky should have some influence over which fixtures are shown. But the frequent and excessive rescheduling of matches in this way demonstrates, once again, the disregard…perhaps even contempt…that clubs have for those supporters who regularly attend home games. Blues Trust is in the process of contacting the club to share our frustrations about these fixture changes and to seek its view on the matter.
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