It’s been a while since I’ve managed to get time to write a blog, 13th of September in fact, where I wrote about (potential) fellow Irishman Declan Rice. But following the recent announcement by SKY / BT of their televised games for February, I thought I’d give an insight into the impact this has on not only an overseas fan but a fan.
West Ham’s Upcoming Fixtures:
|Date||Time||Opposition||Home / Away|
|Saturday 22nd December||3:00pm||Watford||Home|
|Thursday 27th December||7:45pm||Southampton||Away||Sky Sports|
|Sunday 30th December||2:15pm||Burnley||Away|
|Wednesday 2nd January||7:45pm||Brighton||Home|
|Saturday 5th January||12:30pm||Birmingham||Home|
|Saturday 12th January||12:30pm||Arsenal||Home||Sky Sports|
|Saturday 19th January||3:00pm||Bournemouth||Away|
|Tuesday 29th January||7:45pm||Wolves||Away|
|Monday 4th February||8:00pm||Liverpool||Home||Sky Sports|
|Saturday 9th February||3:00pm||Crystal Palace||Away|
|Friday 22nd February||7:45pm||Fulham||Home||Sky Sports|
|Tuesday 26th February||8:00pm||Man City||Away||BT Sport|
The fixtures above show West Ham have one home and two away games at the traditional time of 3:00pm on a Saturday. 3 out of our next 12 fixtures.
Fair enough these 12 fixtures include the Christmas and New Year period where we can expect a difference. However, if we look at the January and February fixtures, out of the seven Premier League games, four have been moved for television. Three of these are home games. Therefore, season ticket holders will have to re-arrange to attend or possibly not attend.
These games are additional to the home games against Chelsea and Man U that were also re-fixed for TV.
Meaning, out of the 14 home fixtures up until the end of February, 5 have been changed from the traditional time slot and 2 have been mid-week games. That’s 50% of home games fixed to date are not a traditional Saturday 3pm kick off!
This is bound to have an effect on those season ticket holders who have to travel a distance to get to a game. Is it any wonder there are so many empty seats in our stadium during televised games.
If I or any overseas fan are looking at getting over to a weekend game in the New Year they nearly must now fly on a Friday afternoon and return on a Tuesday morning. This is to cover the possibility of the game being changed to a Friday evening or a Monday evening and everything in between. It’s a short holiday, two days off work and four nights in a hotel!
Obviously, this is not realistic, and most fans will wait until the release date of the televised fixtures. But this has a direct impact on the cost of flights. We all know the earlier you book the cheaper the flights.
Lately I have been getting bombarded by the ticket office to upgrade my claret membership to a half season ticket. I did ponder it but the realisation that 50% of our home games so far this season up until the end of February are or have not been a Saturday game, there is no point.
A half season ticket would be for games with no Saturday 3pm kick offs until March, April and May. Leaving 5 games which could still be changed when SKY / BT release their televised games for those months!
I suppose this is modern football and I’m not sure there is very much the ‘fan’ can do. I’ll just have to stick with my claret membership and get over to games as and when I can.