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31/10/2018

MUST Response to Everton Fixture Change

 

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MUST Challenges Supporters Impact of 2nd Everton Fixture Change


On 3rd September, four weeks after confirming their October televised fixtures that included United v Everton on Saturday 26th at 12:30pm, Sky announced an unprecedented further change to Sunday 28th October at 4pm to protect their Super Sunday programme that had been compromised by their rescheduling of Spurs v City to the Monday night. That commercial decision failed to acknowledge, let alone take account of, the implication for United (and some Everton) fans who had booked travel based on the originally confirmed date and time.

We immediately issued a strong statement through the media condemning this action and asking for compensation. You can read that statement, which was widely covered, here.  


We then conducted a survey of affected supporters and this confirmed the significant scale of both individual and aggregate impacts.  We opened discussions with Sky following which we wrote formally making a strong case for financial compensation for those who had incurred unrecoverable losses or extra costs. Sky took some time to respond but finally did so earlier last week. Regrettably while being ‘sympathetic’ to the supporter issues, despite acknowledging that the change to our match was for their own commercial reasons, they have concluded that this should be a matter for the Premier League and the clubs. 
 
We reject this response and have written back to Sky, The Premier League, Manchester United and The Football Supporters Federation asking for a further joint discussion with all parties to reach an equitable solution. In the meantime, to coincide with the fixture itself, we issued a further statement that you can read here.
 
We will continue to pursue this, both as an exceptional case that needs to be resolved now, and as part of the Football Supporters Federation (FSF) campaign to provide a longer term solution to support fans who are most impacted by TV fixture changes, particularly for long distance away matches. 

 

 

MUST Statement on Everton fixture rearrangement and Sky response

Supporters paying a high price for Sunday's Match

As our home fixture with Everton approaches, thanks to Sky’s decision to change their previously confirmed TV slot from Saturday lunchtime to Sunday afternoon, over 1000 supporters will have had to pay significant sums to revise their previously booked flights, trains and hotels and others will be forfeiting their non-refundable bookings as other personal commitments made on the basis of the original fixture time now prevent them from attending on the revised match day.

When this unprecedented second change was announced MUST collated evidence from supporters on their potential financial losses and other personal impacts and established a dialogue with Sky where we put the case for an exceptional compensation process. We said that supporters had made arrangements on the basis of the previously confirmed date, to which SKY had not made any caveats about a potential further change. Specifically we asked for a compensation arrangement based on submitted evidence of non-recoverable costs.

In their response to us this week SKY have acknowledged that the fixture change was a commercial decision to preserve their valuable Super Sunday schedule after the Spurs/City match was moved to a new televised slot of Monday evening. While expressing sympathy for affected supporters however they have sought to shift responsibility for any compensation to the Premier League and ultimately to our own club that did not instigate the fixture change.

This regrettable, but sadly predictable, buck passing and impasse ignores the valid claims of supporters who remain significantly out of pocket. MUST, with the support of the Football Supporters Federation, will continue to press for an equitable solution. We have therefore called for further joint dialogue with Sky and the Premier League to explore a pragmatic solution to an exceptional set of circumstances and have approached our own club also to input to that process. We hope that all parties will respond positive
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