Much has been made by the media (particularly the Daily Mail and the Daily Telegraph) of an alleged decision by the Premier League that they intend to “help” Chelsea by switching one of our forthcoming Premier League fixtures featuring Sunderland and Liverpool games to a Saturday.
That’s great, until you look at the detail. One of our Champions League semi-final games must be played on a Tuesday. For the PL to say they are “helping” Chelsea here is disingenuous. If they really wanted to “help” Chelsea, they’d switch both games to a Friday and tell Sky to either show the games on a Friday, or jog on and find another game to show. A lot of course depends on Sky’s desire to protect their “Super Sunday” offering. It’s been claimed that Sky have first choice of the Champions League games, so all they have to do tomorrow is steam in and say they’ll show the second leg of our semi, leaving ITV to show the first leg on the Tuesday night. So, in theory, the Sunderland game is moved to a Saturday. But when? A quick flick through the TV fixture list shows that Sky have 17.30 fixtures on both 19th and 26th April, and you can’t really see Hull and Arsenal/Manchester City and Norwich agreeing to a shift to a Sunday at such short notice. There is of course the possibility of a Good Friday game (bank holiday, works well for most people – except those of a religious persuasion). Currently, there’s a fairly full programme of Championship fixtures, kicking off at 3pm (although as a crucifixion tribute to Jesus Christ, Son of God, you might reasonably expect the fixtures to kick off half an hour later*).
And whilst most Chelsea supporters will reasonably be most concerned about our fixture dates and times it’s worth sparing a thought for Sunderland’s fans. How can anyone possibly reasonably commit to a game where you’ve always known the date was subject to change, especially when it’s a round trip of nearly 600 miles? Together with Christmas, Easter is one of the great family times of the year, with the two bank holidays giving people a chance to spend quality time with their loved ones**.
The bottom line is, as usual, it will be supporters, many of whom have to travel hundreds of miles, who will be bearing the brunt of whatever decision is made.
*As a practising Catholic who currently expects to be in church at that time, I am allowed to make that joke.
**Unless you’re a callous cow like me, missing BigBabyBrother’s 50th on Easter Sunday cos we’ve got a game (although in the SW6 round up, you’ll spot other extenuating circumstances).
Chelsea Supporters Trust News
Safe Standing Roadshow
The Chelsea Supporters Trust, in association with cfcuk fanzine, are delighted to announce that the Safe Standing Roadshow will be coming to the Fulham Road on the day of the Sunderland game (currently 20th April but subject to tomorrow’s Champions League draw). This is a superb opportunity for all Chelsea fans to have the opportunity to view a demonstration of rail seating, help dispel myths about what safe standing means, and ask any questions. Jon Darch of the Football Supporters Federation will be present, so don’t be shy, come and see for yourself. And if you haven’t yet filled in the Safe Standing Survey, don’t worry. This has been extended to coincide with the Safe Standing Roadshow, and now closes on 25th April.
End of Season Party – Postponed
It is with much regret that the CST have had to postpone the end of season party, “An Audience With Mickey Thomas & Joey Jones”, which was due to be held at The Black Bull on 9th May, due to unforeseen problems (The Bull is currently closed and likely to be so for the rest of the season). This will be rescheduled for late summer, ahead of the new football season. For more information, please visit the Chelsea Supporters Trust website. Individual ticket holders should have received an email tonight regarding ticket validity and refunds.
CST Special General Meeting
In place of “An Audience With Mickey Thomas & Joey Jones”, the Trust are now planning to reschedule the final SGM of the season to incorporate a get-together. A date for this is currently under discussion and should be announced in the next couple of weeks.
Many congratulations to Chelsea supporter Dan Middleton who successfully completed his “Tube Challenge”, visiting all 270 London Underground stations, on Friday 4th April in aid of the fabulous Regenerate charity. If you would like to congratulate/support him by way of a donation, his JustGiving page remains open and all contributions are gratefully received.
As always, you can follow me on Twitter @BlueBaby67.