17.30 Switch…12.30 Switch
Another Aston Villa away fixture has been shifted to a 5.30pm kick-off after Sky TV selected the April 7th trip to Norwich for live broadcast.
That is until it was then suddenly switched to a 12.30 kick-off.
I admit, I’m struggling to keep up.
It’s the 18th Villa fixture this season that has been picked up for television.
Original 17.30 Switch
On face value, putting back a fixture two and half hours on a Saturday, doesn’t seem such a big deal, unless you’re an away fan.
Last season, a Monday night trip to Newcastle made it impossible to get a train back, as the last train left pretty much when the game kicked-off. At Norwich, Villa fans would have to leave the game very early in the second half, if they wanted to get back into Birmingham before the clock struck midnight.
The last train leaves at 19.00 while the game is still on, and takes an extra hour than normal with a journey time of 4hrs 38m.
Quicker to Fly to LA
If you really have to take the first train after the game, then the first available train is at 22.00, one that will set you back £105.10 and take over 12 and a half hours, getting you back into Birmingham for 10.32 the following morning.
(Post Norwich match train options)
You could actually fly to Los Angeles quicker and also for about the same price, if you scooped an offer on Norwegian Air, or the like.
Even by car or coach, Villans won’t get back from the difficult across country journey from Norwich to Birmingham until very late at night.
New 12.30 Switch
No, Sky TV did not suddenly switch the game AGAIN 24 hours after making the first switch, because they felt guilty of the train situation. It was more to do with the Manchester derby being given the 17.30 slot on the same day.
Are supporters informed of any reasons behind the switch. No, they are just expected to lump it.
The announcement on Villa’s website simply said:
Our Sky Bet Championship fixture at Norwich City on Saturday 7th April has been switched to a 12:30pm kick-off.
The match was originally scheduled to take place at 5.30pm on the same day, but has now been moved back to a lunchtime start.
Our clash with the Canaries at Carrow Road will still be broadcast live on Sky Sports.
It’s obvious that away fans aren’t really considered in the way they should be when it comes to the TV companies rearranging fixtures, despite the fact they actually create the atmosphere that makes the TV product exciting for national and international audiences.
Going back to the original 17.30 fixture change, maybe there should be a rule that away fans must be able to get a train back from the city of the match, after the game? Consider it a symbolic check against inconveniencing travelling supporters.
Remaining Aston Villa Fixtures
3: Queens Park Rangers (h) – 15:00
6: Sunderland (a) – 19:45
10: Wolverhampton (h) – 17:30 TV
17: Bolton Wanderers (a) – 17.30 TV
30: Hull City (a) – 17:30 TV
3: Reading (h) – 19:45
7: Norwich City (a) – 12:30 TV
10: Cardiff City (h) – 19:45
14: Leeds United (h) – 15:00
21: Ipswich Town (a) – 15:00
28: Derby County (h) – 15:00
6: Millwall (a)
TV SELECTION DATES 2017/18 (subject to a five-week minimum notice commitment)
• From 23rd February, a minimum five-week rolling selection commences for matches up to and including the penultimate weekend;
• Clubs notified of selections for the final day made following the completion of the penultimate round of matches.
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