“Bastards! I have that whole weekend organised already and this will foul things up! It’s a bit late to change isn’t it?”
That was one understandable reaction to the Premier League’s decision, announced only today, to move our last home game of the season from Saturday May 1 to Sunday May 2, kickoff 4pm. To accommodate Sky Sports, needless to say.
Television deals are obviously of vital importance to football. Even the occasional need to make a late change may be a reasonable price to be paid if the game is to retain the Murdoch millions.
But it must have been blindingly obvious to everyone for months if not since last August that a game involving Manchester United one weekend before the season ends could easily have a bearing on the title.
Man Utd show every sign of not especially wanting to win anything except the Carling Cup this season, but as things stand they are still in with a slender hope of beating Chelsea to top spot.
In other words, it was a fixture change that might have been made weeks ago, giving fans a sporting chance of being able to make alternative arrangements and avoid unnecessary extra costs instead of losing out on non-flexible advance travel bookings.
Salut! Sunderland looked in vain for any hint of contrition at the Premier League or Skysports sites, but couldn’t even locate the date change at all (perhaps someone with better nagivational powers will point the way) . At the official site of SAFC, which is not to blame for the switch, the matter was reported as if no fan would ever be inconvenienced by such a decision.
The comment quoted above proves that to be nonsense. My own plans have to be re-thought completely; at least no train ticket/flights/hotel had yet been booked on the strength of it being a 3pm Saturday game.
It is difficult to escape the conclusion that football doesn’t really care about the impact on ordinary fans of these cavalier changes of heart.
Only 10 days notice of a fixture date swap, I am told, is needed. Shame on whoever deemed that sufficient.
Sunderland’s game against Manchester United has been moved after being selected for live transmission by Sky Sports.
The game was scheduled for Saturday 1st May but will now take place a day later on Sunday 2nd, kicking off at 4pm.
The Black Cats’ clash with the reigning champions is their final live televised game of the season.
Supporters are reminded that only those with an existing purchasing history on the club’s database are eligible to buy tickets for this fixture. Any tickets already issued will be valid for the new date.
For the latest ticket news, please contact the Sunderland AFC Ticket Hotline on 0871 911 1973 or visit www.safc.com/tickets.