After a long delay, the Premier League announced the televised games for December and January on Thursday. Six Newcastle United games have been moved, although only four will actually be on Sky, BT or Amazon.
Amazon Prime have the rights to 20 Premier League games, airing every game from matchday 15 and 19. The second round of fixtures are the Boxing Day clashes, which see us head to Old Trafford to face Manchester United.
In an attempt to get as many viewers as possible, Amazon have various different kick-off times on December 26th. Manchester United vs Newcastle United now starts at 5.30pm.
Travelling on Boxing Day is already difficult to begin with, but now the later finish will make things even tougher for the Toon Army.
Liverpool offer free travel for fans on Boxing Day
Liverpool will also be impacted by Amazon’s kickoff times, with their trip to Leicester now starting at 8pm. In response, the Reds have offered free coach travel to any supporter who is heading to the King Power Stadium. All they have asked for is £5 to reserve a seat, which will be donated to the North Liverpool Foodbank.
Hopefully Newcastle do the same. The TV companies continue to ruin away games for fans with ridiculous start times, having zero consideration for how far the fans will be travelling and simply how they will get to and from the ground.
Sadly, the TV companies will always win as the money from them is more valuable than yours or mine to pay to enter the ground. That’s just modern day football.
But in turn, clubs must help their supporters where they can. Liverpool have made the right decision to offer fans free coach travel, and it is something that Newcastle should consider as well. The cost isn’t going to be much in the grand scheme of things when you look at how much money the Premier League now gets for TV rights.
We could do exactly the same as Liverpool and take a donation for the Newcastle West End Foodbank, something that is housed outside of every home game at St James’ Park.
Everyone would be a winner. The fans know they have a way of getting to and from Old Trafford. The food bank gets a sizeable donation at a crucial time of the year. And the club has done something good for the fans and the region.