Brighton v Everton moved to 1.30pm kick-off to suit Indian TV
Everton fans face a six hour drive from Liverpool with no trains leaving early enough
Everton fans will be unable to arrive on time for their clash with Brighton if they travel by train. Photo: Stu Forster/Getty Images
UK shadow sports minister Dr Rosena Allin-Khan has accused the Premier League of forgetting away fans after Everton’s visit to Brighton was moved this weekend from Saturday to Sunday.
The game at the Amex kicks off in a broadcast slot at 1.30pm but is only available to Star Sport viewers in India, where the match starts at 6pm.
This is ideal for football fans on the sub-continent but less so for Everton fans, who are faced with a six-hour drive from Liverpool and a 547-mile round trip.
And the earliest train that day — a journey that takes nearly six hours and requires five changes — will not get fans to the game in time to see the early action.
Dr Allin-Khan said: “Everton fans travelling on the first train would miss the kick-off and it’ll set them back over £100 for a return ticket.
“As broadcast revenues increase along with the popularity of our leagues, the Premier League shouldn’t forget the fans who travel across the country, week in week out.
“Fans are being priced out of football. TV money has been good for the game but the system needs to be fairer for fans. Football should be accessible to everyone, from Sunday league to Premier League.”
Moving games for television has been a contentious subject for years but the huge sums paid for broadcasters now, and the enormous popularity of the Premier League abroad, has sharpened the debate.
In recent weeks, fans of Arsenal and Liverpool have reacted angrily to the very real possibility their game on Saturday, December 23rd, will be moved to Christmas Eve.