Morning from sunny Norway!
Arsenal should have been playing Chelsea today in the evening kick off.
My plan was to arrive back in the UK at around 2pm, landing into Heathrow. Get straight on the Piccadilly Line to Holloway Road and be in The George by about 3:30pm. Pint in hand.
Leave my bag behind the bar, head to the game, then return to a few more beers after and pick up my bag. Instead, I am flying back and heading home.
The rumours that the game was being moved due to the Youth Cup Final never made sense.
As we revealed, the rules of the FA Youth Cup were that the game had to be scheduled BEFORE 29 April (today), and not on 29 April.
FA Youth Cup games are traditionally played mid-week, and as it transpired the game against West Ham was announced for Tuesday 25 April.
Preperation for the King’s Coronation also made little sense.
Moving a game closer to the Coronation of King Charles III surely disrupts the preperation more than having the game a week before. Likewise, if football was so disruptive then why are Crystal Palace hosting West Ham, Brentford hosting Nottingham Forset
In the lower leagues, Charlton are at home to Port Vale, Wimbledon against Tranmere, Leyton Orient host Stockport County and Barnet facing Dagenham and Redbridge.
Then tomorrow we have Fulham at home to Manchester City.
If the Arsenal game has been moved due to policing issues, then why are all of these games still going ahead?
You then have this rule that has appeared that London’s Metropolitan Police do not want “high risk” games to kick off in London after 4:45pm at weekends.
Earlier this season, around 600 Manchester United tickets were cancelled for their game against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
This was on police advice, with the Met saying the 5:30 p.m. start time heightened the risk rating of the game:
“The agreement in place between the Met and London clubs is that fixtures assessed as high risk should start before 16:45 at weekends to help keep people safe.”
If this is true, why were Sky allowed to pick Arsenal v Chelsea for their 5:30pm TV game at the end of March? Why then did the same get moved to Tuesday, rather than moved back to 3pm – or even 4:45pm? Why was the game not moved to a lunchtime kick off? Or why was it not moved to tomorrow? why did the police change their mind after OK’ing the game? And why did this take them 12 days?
It just shows once again that no one really cares about fans that go to games. Despite all the hyperboil after the European Super League announcement.
The only reason the game was moved to Tuesday rather than back to 3pm was for Sky scheduling. So that they could still show the game. It shows that they value their scheduling over and above match going fans. Gary Neville has been silent on the matter.
If the 4:45pm “rule” is real, then TV companies should know about it. And Sky should not be allowed to host London home games at this time. If they do pick this time and the police demand it is moved, the game should go back to 3pm.
Nothing has changed since the European Super League. The TV companies have shown time and again that they do not care about match going fans. And all they cared about was that they could be on the outside looking in when it came to ESL broadcasting rights.
I am about to jump on the plane. See you tomorrow!