Sheffield United: Fans' group calls for TV change after Blades see Southend plans wrecked

The Football Supporters' Federation has urged the game's governing bodies to adopt new protocols regarding the rescheduling of fixtures for television purposes to avoid a repeat of the problem which left many Sheffield United followers out of pocket ahead of this evening's match against Southend.

Wednesday, 30th March 2016, 05:59 am
Updated Saturday, 2nd April 2016, 08:29 am
The Football Supporters' Federation believes Sheffield United fans could have been given more notice of the change ©2016 Sport Image all rights reserved

Nigel Adkins’ side were initially set to visit Roots Hall on Bank Holiday Monday before the date was switched at the request of SKY TV who are now broadcasting the contest live.

Although 10 week’s notice was given, an FSF spokesperson told The Star: “With the number of TV games set to increase again next season we can only imagine frustration for fans growing in this area.

Many Sheffield United fans had already booked train tickets and hotel rooms ©2016 Sport Image all rights reserved

“The FSF would like to see both the Premier League and Football League commit to 12 week windows - in line with train companies - so fans don’t lose out on travel costs.

“When leagues break their own promises around notice periods we’d also like to see them work with their clubs and the TV companies to recompense fans.”

United fans who had already pre-booked train tickets and accommodation in anticipation of an Easter break launched a campaign entitled “The Blades Big Sky Bill” when the change of date was announced, arguing the company should donate a sum of money, commensurate to the amount they had lost, to charity.

Tom Blenkinsop, MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, recently called for the House of Commons to investigate the influence television firms have on the scheduling of games after Middlesbrough’s meeting with Charlton Athletic was moved just over two weeks before its original date.

Many Sheffield United fans had already booked train tickets and hotel rooms ©2016 Sport Image all rights reserved