April 24, 2024

Before Newcastle United’s match against Luton Town, fans complained to the Premier League and television providers.
Newcastle United fans sent a strong message to Premier League and TV executives ahead of Saturday’s frenzied 4-4 draw with Luton Town, denouncing the Magpies’ recent ‘disgusting’ kick-off times. Wor Flags, a fan-funded group, put up a pre-match banner in the Gallowgate End that said ‘TV before fans’, as well as smaller flags highlighting some of the club’s recent late kick-off times.

Examples include Newcastle’s New Year’s Day showdown at Anfield at 8 p.m., as well as Tuesday’s 8.15 p.m. kick-off at Villa Park. The 7pm FA Cup match against Fulham and the recent 8pm trip to Arsenal were also included.

Newcastle has only had one 3pm away game this season, but despite the odd kick-off hours, hundreds of fans have supported the team on the road. The protest took place during the Premier League’s ‘Green Football Weekend’, which this year tries to encourage supporters to eat more plant-based meals in order to cut carbon emissions.

Many supporters have pointed out the campaign’s hypocrisy, citing the amount of unnecessary traveling Premier League sides do to and from matches, while spectators are frequently unable to use public transportation when given late kick-off times due to TNT Sports and Sky Sports.

 

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Wor Flags issued a statement shortly after the banner was unveiled, reading: “Today’s display in the Gallowgate is dedicated to highlighting the disgusting kick-off times that have been afforded to us by broadcasters in both the Premier League and the FA Cup since the turn of the year, making a mockery of the Green Football Weekend, which is being celebrated by certain broadcasters.”

“Newcastle United fans are among the most passionate and loyal in the country, dedicated to following our team wherever it goes. That dedication and passion is absolutely taken for granted by television networks and football governing bodies. We’ve only had one Saturday 3pm kickoff away from home this season.

“The expense of being a football fan is rising, with increased costs on trains, buses, and automobile fuel making it an expensive business, but the incessant mentality of placing match-goers last is putting a strain on supporters. While we continue to fill away ends, we have not forgotten those fans who have been priced out of the game by avarice, and who have made English football so appealing to a global audience.

“Late announcements of games to suit broadcasters and people watching on TV have a significant influence on the fans, whom everyone claims are the lifeblood of the sport. We are urging broadcasters, the Premier League, the FA, and clubs to do more for match-going supporters. end with the unsociable kick-off timings, make it more equitable for fans traveling, and end your greed.”

 

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