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Refund fans left out of pocket, urges MP

Filed: Friday, 23rd March 2018
By: Staff Writer

A Member of Parliament is calling for fans who are left out of pocket as a result of late fixture changes at the behest of the TV companies to be suitably compensated.

Supporters across the country have been up in arms this week as a result of the latest tranche of fixture amendments, some less than a month before the date of the match.

West Ham's trip to Arsenal is one of those affected, with the match having been brought forward from Monday 23 April to the Sunday (22nd) - the same day the London Marathon and the Chelsea v Southampton FA Cup semi final take place.

As a result, Gateshead MP Ian Mearns has called on the TV companies responsible to refund supporters who are unable to attend on the revised dates after Newcastle's trip to Everton, also scheduled for 21 April, was pushed back 48 hours to fill the Monday night slot.

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"This is ludicrous," he posted on twitter. "Tickets are already sold and buses and trains booked. Completely ridiculous. Will fans who have made arrangements be compensated by Sky Sports? Best not hold our breath - Sky Sports should be ashamed!"

And speaking to the Chronicle later, he added: "Our last All Party Parliamentary Group [APPG] meeting but one was about TV rescheduling football matches. We were given undertakings from Sky, the Premier League and the FA that they were going to try and minimise it as much as possible."

A spokesman for the Football Supporters' Federation (FSF) added: "Once again itís the most dedicated match-going fans who are clobbered to serve the interests of TV broadcasters.

"Not only have many travelling fans been denied the chance to see their team, plenty will be left out of pocket too having already booked travel and accommodation. We will continue to lobby the footballing authorities and broadcasters to minimise TVís impact on match-going supporters."

Some West Ham fans - to whom tickets for the trip to Arsenal only went on sale 48 hours before the fixture date was amended - have been similarly affected by the late amendments.

KUMB Forum member Row X wrote: "I'm fuming about this. I couldn't make the 23rd as I will be travelling to Scotland, so I didn't bother applying for a ticket with my mates. Now they've moved it to a date I can make!"

West Ham's other televised April fixture - versus Manchester City on Sunday, 29th April - is unchanged, but will be moved to 12.30pm on Saturday 28 April (12.30pm) should the Citizens remain in the Champions League.

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