Leicester fans are angry at the decision to move their Premiership game with Arsenal from Saturday to Sunday 14 February to accommodate the TV cameras, and are planning a protest against Sky Sports and their rescheduling of the important top-of-the-table clash. The issues remain depressingly familiar – football fans who actually go to the game are treated like second class supporters against the power and influence of Sky Sports and their television revenue.
Leicester fans argue:
- Over 3,000 supporters in the sold out away end are now forced to re-arrange or cancel paid for travel plans, many will be unable to go
- Premier League gave only 23 days’ notice instead of usual six weeks, again at the hand of Sky Sports
UNION FS STATEMENT ON LATE ARSENAL FIXTURE CHANGE
Once again, Sky Sports have gone above and beyond in their efforts to put out matchgoing fans. No doubt they will point to the millions of fortunate souls now able to sit at home and watch this unlikely top of the table clash.
Of course, the Arsenal game was not the only Leicester City fixture announced for the upcoming games. March’s fixtures release includes changes to the game at Watford and at home to Newcastle too. Annoying, particularly for the Geordies who now have to travel to the East Midlands on a Monday night, but at least there are 53 days before that trip and tickets are not yet on sale for ‘Pies fans.
A clue above: the March TV fixtures release. Not the first-fortnight-of-February release. Following the initial February release in December, 3,000 Leicester fans had thought it safe to make non-refundable travel and accommodation plans, schedule time off work, stay up to midnight to fight for tickets that were sold out in minutes, book holidays starting on the Sunday, plan Leicester Sunday League fixtures etc (the list of quite frankly ridiculously unnecessary inconveniences goes on and on and on) before Sky decided to shoe-horn a third ‘Super Sunday’ fixture of the day in just TWENTY-THREE days before the game.
Such is life that there are winners and losers from this move, but all of those losing out have been unfairly done over by Sky Sports and, by proxy, the lack of protection afforded to fans by the Premier League and its constituent clubs.
It is absolutely imperative that football fans show solidarity in these cases, and as such, Union FS are calling for a show of strength against the aforementioned parties.
We are proposing the following action to be taken by all Leicester City fans on the day:
- 5 minute boycott at the start of the game where City fans remain in the concourse, watching the game on the TV monitors installed. Why? To make a point that without fans, there is no saleable product. Just 22 blokes kicking a ball around on some nicely cut grass. We would encourage Arsenal fans to join us with this, as they graciously did with Bayern Munich fans recently. We appreciate that fans want to watch the game they have paid for, and rightly so, but this is an extraordinary issue and we would ask you to join us and make a one-off stand for all football fans.
- Banners of protest. We encourage all City fans to make their own feelings known in banner form ahead of the fixture, and smuggle these into the stadium. Clearly visuals are a good way of getting your point across but we recognise that these are not easy to get into stadiums. All efforts are appreciated, however.
We close by saying all football fans are inconvenienced at times and it has sadly become part of our game. But in our opinion the actions of Sky Sports on this occasion have gone too far for us not to take action.
Some may argue that a boycott will achieve nothing. You might be right, maybe it won’t. But it will certainly notch another visual display of dissent in a country which is starting to turn on the Premier League’s ever growing greed.
Help us make a difference.
Union FS is a Leicester City supporters’ group committed to improving the atmosphere home and away, they want Filbert Way to be the football stadium that everyone wants to visit.