Jose a Spur To Boro - In Big Week for Football Fans
By Robert Nichols
Thursday 05 Dec 2019 11:52:00
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In a week where Boro landed one of the plum draws in the FA Cup at home to Spurs there were several other significant announcements for our football fans. Boro will play Mourinho's Spurs at the Riverside in the 3rd Round around 4th January. Another stand out draw was the Merseyside derby a repeat of last night's game screened for the first time on Amazon Prime. Will a third major player in televised football be a good thing for fans?

Last month saw UEFA actually ratify a game with standing, a first since legislation came in the aftermath of Hillsborough. The game between Germany and Belgium was played at Under 21 level but could this be an indication of change ahead. In Scotland Kilmarnock have joined in Celtic in opting for a section of rail seating. In England Spurs new stadium includes sections of home and away rail seating. Until legislation is passed these seats remain officially safe seating rather than safe standing but all major parties are promising the rubber stamping of safe standing in their manifesto's so this should give a green light to safe standing. Many other grounds seem poised to follow suit.

The 8.15pm kick off time for viewers subscribing to Amazon Prime may well have been advantageous also to actual matchday supporters attending Anfield last night, or it may not. One thing is for certain Ofcom who keep on insisting on opening up new windows for tv screening are paying absolutely no heed whatsoever to the paying customers on the gate, having to find travel and rearrange their lives around fixtures moved to accommodate timeslots for tv viewers.

Kevin Miles of FSA Chief Exec said:“The number of televised games in football is now at an all time high – this leads to more kick off times being moved, more inconvenience to match going fans and greater costs to anyone trying to follow their team.

“We warned Ofcom about the dangers of forcing more broadcasters into English football but supporters concerns were set aside. Ultimately as we have seen supporters are the ones losing out – but we'll continue to lobby the football authorities and broadcasters for a better deal.”

The FSA have announced they are entering into a formal partnership with Trading Standards. This will enable fans via the FSA to get legal advice on consumer issues.

Amanda Jacks Director of Case Work at Football Supporters Association described the partnership as “enabling us to take advice from them on consumer related issues which in football terms means terms and conditions on season tickets, ticket exchange systems your clubs may operate that ultimately leave fans out of pocket thanks to fees charged, or any other general consumer issue - including being left out of pocket following a very late fixture change.”



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