Sky has changed the face of football and all sport in general, but has it changed for the better? In certain aspects, of course it has. In others, it’s made it a living nightmare for honest sports fans. The match going fan, the fan who goes to work all week and looks forward to going the match at the weekend, their the people who sky don’t care about. They think nothing of them.
Take last Friday for example, Leicester City v Middlesbrough. A game that would have been most definitely called off if it wasn’t for sky television. Leicester’s average home attendance this season has been around 22 thousand. Friday, 8585. Why? Because, the snow has been horrendous in the Midlands. To the point where people who live only a 20 minute drive away deemed it to be too dangerous to take the trip. Why should people risk their lives to go watch a football game? Do you think if the game wasn’t on Sky, Leicester would have kept it on? No it wouldn’t, Leicester wouldn’t have missed out on the extra revenue from ticket sales. Granted, Sky will have been paying more than the ticket sales but surely the fans should have the opportunity to go watch their team without potentially hurting themselves in the snow?
The next one is Southampton vs. Everton, why this game was chosen for a Monday night is beyond belief, 480 mile round trip on a Monday night. How do they expect people to travel that far? It’s a credit to Everton’s exceptional support that they took around approximately 2450 fans to St Mary’s. What makes it even more strange, one of the television games over the weekend was West Brom vs. Aston Villa, a 26 mile round trip. That game was on ESPN, surely the top people could come together and show a touch of common sense and say “yeah okay, we’ll put Southampton Everton on Saturday, and Villa West Brom on Monday night. Makes sense that, and then the fans can get there.” A sky reporter asked an Everton fan, “How come you’ve travelled to Southampton on a Monday night?” His response was simple, “because of your lot” He summed it perfectly, their lot (Sky) had forced it upon him. People follow their team religiously, any football fan knows that. Sky doesn’t take that into account. They don’t think about the fans, they think of themselves.
There’s been more crazy games chosen for television this season as well. West Brom vs. Southampton was on a Monday night. Southampton are by their own admission a small club with a small away support fan base. To ask fans to travel all that way on a Monday night, it’s outrageous.
Sky really does need to do something about it, I appreciate that Sky Sports has changed football, it’s never going to change back. Just show some basic logic and think about the people who go support their team. Don’t keep games on when it’s snowing, and fans can’t make it to the ground. Just call it off. Don’t arrange ridiculous fixtures on Monday nights. Use common sense in the choosing of Monday night games. Think about the match going fan. That’s all most people want.
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