Date: 22nd October 2014 at 1:36pm
Written by:

I was delighted to receive this article from our Vital Chief, Jonathan recently. I agree with this so much. First let`s print the article in its entirety with a little bit of poetic licence to bring in the Clarets now and again

‘Just a hearsay article, but we all know it’s going that way, the absolute disregard for footballing tradition is getting beyond a joke. With a new updated package deal due to be launched in the new year, there is a good chance that yet more 3pm Saturday fixtures will go, in order to satisfy the insatiable Sky and BT television groups!

Are the fans that go to the games now less important than the armchair ones? What a stroke of irony, that the people that have filled stadiums, stood in the rain, travelled the country, travelled to other countries, bought the pies (and shirts), supported their teams failures and successes, literally built the very game over 100 years, that is now being so cynically exploited, are now the ones at the very bottom of footballs priority list!

Football seems to have a skewed pyramid of importance that goes something like this –

PL
TV
CLUB
OWNER
PLAYERS
TV FANATICS
ACTUAL FANATICS

The spin will spill out, we’ve heard it before, in a very pompous and assured voice, a representative from the PL (who doesn’t work when games are on, will have a private box, will stuff his face at half time and won’t be present when either half kicks off) will come and say –

‘Well what we are finding is that peoples lifestyles are changing. A lot of people work on a Saturday anyway, so why is it so important to have kick offs on Saturday 3pm slot?

We are also finding a keener interest from fans wanting to watch the games of other clubs, so rather than getting in one game in the weekend why not watch 4 or 5 or even 6 live games, including your team at 10pm on a Tuesday, eh, eh, eh????’

Where will it end? Ticket prices have already risen well above inflation levels, SKY’s money and UEFA’s Champions League have already skewed it so far in favour of the top sides, that now only one of 5 teams is ever capable of winning the league, and probably between only 2 of them in anyone given season. Not to mention the damage it’s doing to the future support of your club, Aston Villa for example aren’t going to attract too many arm chair fans over Christmas with only one live game, whereas Newcastle of all teams, get 5 live games, they can’t even get that balance right!

Maybe a few walk outs by the season ticket holders for live games on television would get the message across, but it won’t happen (why should people who’ve spent their hard earned money not go, I get that) especially at the bigger clubs, the supporters of the bigger clubs are far less likely to be coming from the local population, and therefore will care less about the traditions of the game. Furthermore the top sides win most of the time, and because of European involvement are used to playing at different kick off times, so the fans will feel less affected.

But for sides like Burnley though there is a massive sense of tradition, the majority of the fans in the stadium are from the local community, and will be messed around further by the Premier Leagues insistence on changing every single aspect of the game, until it becomes simply a commodity.

Forget tradition, this is now a fashion business, and the trendiest teams now play a different sport!`

An excellent article indeed and one I totally endorse. There are so many downsides for fans having to cope with TV scheduling even assuming you are given enough notice of a change. Let me speak from bitter experience this season. You may know I am a season ticket holder but live some distance away from the ground. I am a three hour drive away living in Cambridgeshire and when I am on a contract could be even further afield. At the moment I am working in Surrey, two hours in the opposite direction from Cambridgeshire. I am supposed to work Monday to Friday so you can imagine how I feel when Sky or BT announce they are hi-jacking my Saturday fixtures at the Turf and moving them to a Sunday or even worse midweek. I simply cannot get to these games without losing significant money and do I really want to drive five hours up and five hours down to see a game? I certainly do not want to drive that distance there and back on the same day so it will inevitably mean more expense staying in a hotel. In effect I lose money either way, if I don`t go to the games my season ticket is wasted. Yeah some bright spark will now say but at least you can watch it on telly and indeed I did after missing both the Chelsea and Manchester United games but what a biased load of rubbish those commentaries were especially the United game on BT Sport! I think Burnley were mentioned in every 1000 sentences, the rest was a glorification of how wonderful Manchester United were and how they were going to beat the Clarets 3-0! Ha bloody ha, suck on that Paul Scholes!

If I pay a season ticket, I expect those games on Saturday to be played on Saturday and not messed about with. Even early starts on Saturday are a bugbear considering I either have to come up the night before and stay in a hotel or get up at the crack of dawn to drive up! Not on and totally unfair.

It was totally outrageous and a total disrespect for fans living away from Burnley to change the opening fixture of the season to a Monday night! Most of us work you know on Mondays! Sky Sports are a disgrace at times and never has my blood boiled so much. Something has to change or eventually football will be played behind closed doors with all the fans home based watching it on telly and Sky would not give a damn as long as the money kept coming in! So what are your opinions of all this? Do you think the TV companies are riding roughshod over too many fans or have they got it about right? Speak your mind below this article.

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