This is not a new debate. It is one we all have every time that Sky and whichever other company has a go at showing live football releases their TV schedule. We all love a moan when one of our precious Saturday 3pm is shifted to a Sunday/ Monday. Deep down though, I think we accept it’s what keeps the Premier League gravy train on track.
However, there are occasions when Sky and/or BT go too far – like asking Newcastle fans to make their way to Bournemouth for a 12:45pm kick off on a Saturday. It’s already going to be a treacherous journey for the hardy souls who will be making their way there, but to ask them to drive 363 miles from ground to ground (thanks Google maps) with an estimated journey time of over 6 hours is something else.
We’re often told that broadcasters consult with the clubs before announcing fixtures but this cannot be the case. I know we’re all regularly at loggerheads with the NUFC, but there are good people working in the corridors of St. James’ Park and I’m certain that they would have questioned this decision. Or perhaps that’s naivety on my part. At the end of the day, money talks.
Gate receipts are a drop in the ocean these days thanks to the latest television deals that are in place. Go back 15 years and a drop in attendance would be of great concern to club accountants – nowadays any attendance decrease will be more than made up by the telly people and the sponsors whose names flash throughout the game on the fancy advertising hoardings. We’ll continue to whinge but nothing will change as long as we continue to pay for sports subscriptions. Just wait until they have us kicking off on a Saturday at breakfast time in order to satisfy the Far Eastern tea time market… by @TheMightySteve
So yet again another football fixture is changed for satellite TV and don’t we know about it. Fans are up in arms, “oh my God” “you’ve got to be joking” “thanks a lot BT/SKY” “it’s another nightmare journey”
Growing up as a kid the highlight for me was to see a football game, I started going to the Gallowgate infrequently as a kid from 1976/77 as a six year old, I became a regular at the age of 13 when I went with my pals, rarely missing a game, although away games were few and far between until I was 15 but that’s another story. In the early years it was the only Newcastle United football I got to see, I wasn’t allowed to stay up for “Match of the Day” and we didn’t have a VCR and ITVs “The Match” only showed the big games with the BIG clubs, so taking the train to St. James’ Park was the highlight og my week.
So move on 10 years or so and there is a TV revolution with SKY at the forefront, Super Sunday was born and didn’t we love it. Every Sunday / Monday night was the match, we didn’t care who was playing, we didn’t care who had to go where, because we Newcastle United weren’t involved, it was magic, football, football, football, the last time we had been on telly was the Friday night game in The FA Cup away at Liverpool, nobody moaned about that change of fixture.
So the 90s arrived and so did Sir John and Special K and aren’t we happy they did, we made it to the promised land , we arrived in The Premiership, the rest is history, a rollercoaster ride of emotion, UEFA Cup fixtures, FA Cup Finals, Champions League nights, it has been the best football years of my life, but it all comes with a price, the price of being a commodity, the price of being in the entertainment business, its where the money comes from, granted before you start, we don’t see the money and that is an argument for another day, but none the less its money that makes the football merry- go-round go round, so suck it up, it’s the price of being a Premiership club, believe me many fans would swap with us for the excitement, the glamour of playing in Europe’s elite league.
Unfortunately being in the PL comes with some inconvenience, we want to play Man United, Arsenal, Bournemouth and Norwich but we want to play them when it suits us, the fans, the heartbeat of the team, the breath that pumps the Great Football Machine, well you cannot have the convenience as its SKY/BT that pay the big bucks to broadcast us to the world and if you want to play in Europe’s elite domestic league you have to play to their tune. Everything has a cost and everyone has a choice. It is a pain in the arse travelling to Bournemouth, Norwich, Southampton for early kick offs, it’s a pain in the arse regardless of the time, but it’s the nature of the beast, in reality for Bournemouth you’ve only got to be up 2hrs 15mins earlier, some of you won’t have even gone to bed, you know who you are, so just have one less Jaeger bomb or pint the night before, and remember before you head off for The Clipper or Armstrong Galley you can always watch the match on the telly with the masses who are happy it is on telly if you don’t fancy the trip.
Remembering Birtley Steve who took the Friday Midnight Clipper to Plymouth on his own only to arrive and find the game postponed. Respect. #1892Crew by @NorthernJam