Match-going supporters are losing out on affordable train travel due to broadcast moves and the state of the rail network, Labour said this week.
As the latest round of TV selections were made in the Premier League, Shadow Sports Minister Dr Rosena Allin-Khan said football fans were losing out on the cheapest advance rail fares.
Typically, the cheapest train fares are available 12-weeks in advance. However, with the majority of Premier League fixtures being moved for TV at six weeks, and a significant number of EFL games also being shifted to accommodate TV broadcast, these aren’t available to most football fans.
“Often, fixtures are rescheduled because of broadcasting, resulting in fans losing out on the cheapest train tickets,” Dr Allin-Khan said this week.
“Football needs to be run in the interests of those who love it, not just a privileged few.”
Broadcast selections in the Premier League and EFL are made with six weeks and five weeks’ notice, forcing those fans who travel by rail to games to pay more. This has a particularly large impact on away fans.
The Labour Party is proposing an “Away Fans’ Loyalty Card”, which would allow fans with a match ticket to change their train ticket if a match is rescheduled.
The FSF has been in discussions with the Rail Delivery Group and football authorities about the introduction of a flexible ticketing system for football supporters.
Train tickets tied to fixtures instead of dates would significantly reduce the impact of broadcast selections on travelling fans.
Thanks to PA Images for the image used in this article.