Luton Town Supporters' Trust hits out at Premier League scheduling of Burnley clash and Christmas Eve football
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The Luton Town Supporters’ Trust (LTST) have voiced their concerns at the potential three dates given for the Hatters’ trip to Burnley in January plus the Premier League's decision to schedule a fixture on Christmas Eve this year.
With the top flight TV picks announced last week, Luton having five matches now being broadcast live, their visit to Turf Moor, originally due to be played on Saturday, January 13, could take place on three separate dates.
It has initially been moved to Monday, January 15, with a 7.45pm kick-off, live on TNT Sports, but if Luton or the Clarets are involved in an FA Cup replay, the match will be on Friday, January 12 at 7.45pm, still shown by TNT.
Also, if Vincent Kompany's side are in a Carabao Cup semi-final, the game will remain on television, but played on Sunday, January 14, starting at 12 noon instead.
With the FA Cup third round matches not taking place until January 6, it gives Town fans little time to rearrange their travel plans should the either side’s tie finish all square.
Luton could rule out the Sunday game this evening, when Burnley head to Everton in the Carabao Cup fourth road, but if Vincent Kompany’s side win, the wait goes on, a quarter-final clash not being played until the week of December 18.
A statement from LTST said: “We would also like to voice our frustration at ‘conditional’ TV picks such as the one Luton Town have for our match away to Burnley in January.
“Three different potential dates have been given for the game which depends on the fortunes of the two sides in the cup competitions prior to then.
"This could, however, mean that there is as little as four days’ notice for supporters.
“This is clearly not acceptable and we urge the Premier League and the broadcasters to come together and solve this issue and select matches for dates which give match going fans sufficient notice to ensure they are able to watch their team play.
"Throughout the whole of the Covid period where football was played behind-closed-doors we were constantly told that ‘football is nothing without the fans’.
"It is now time for those very fans to be put at the forefront of decisions regarding TV games.
“Put match going fans first.”
The Premier League, in their wisdom, have also decided to move one top flight fixture to Christmas Eve, as Chelsea will host Wolverhampton Wanderers with a 1pm kick-off.
That has also been criticised by a number of supporters groups, including LTST, who added: “The Luton Town Supporters’ Trust supports the Football Supporters’ Association (FSA), Wolves 1877 Trust, Chelsea Supporters Club and Chelsea Supporters’ Trust in the opposition to Premier League matches being played on Christmas Eve.
“While we recognise the benefits that the TV deal provides our club, we do not think it should be to the detriment of match going supporters, who make up the atmosphere that broadcasters around the world so dearly crave.
“Christmas Eve is a day where families prepare to spend time over the festive period together and over the last 28 years has been one of few days where supporters can guarantee there is no football so they can make arrangements without having to miss watching the team they love.
"Then there is the issue of travel on such a day, which again will impact those who follow their team around the country.
“Football on Christmas Eve does not just impact fans but also club staff, public service workers and the emergency services, all of whom deserve time with their family at such a special time of the year.”