The 'low blow' for Newcastle United fans as Premier League announce surprise change

When the TV changes are confirmed to Premier League games, it’s OK to book travel and accommodation, right?

Many fans did just that when Newcastle United’s away game against Tottenham Hotspur was confirmed as a TV pick in late July.

The fixture at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium was put back to the early evening kick-off slot on Saturday, October 22.

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Newcastle United fans at Anfield last month.

Supporters, in theory, were then able to make travel arrangements safe in the knowledge that the date and time wouldn’t change. And the cheapest travel arrangements, of course, are normally non-refundable.

Yet that’s just what happened yesterday. The game, which is being screened live by Sky Sports, was put back to the following day with a 4.30pm kick-off.

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A Tottenham statement read: "This is as a result of UEFA competition scheduling the following midweek impacting a number of Premier League matches that weekend.”

Tottenham have a home Champions League fixture against Sporting Lisbon on October 26, while Manchester City and Chelsea are in action the night before against Borussia Dortmund and RB Salzburg respectively.

While the change will give Eddie Howe’s team an extra day to recover from a midweek home game against Everton, it leaves fans – who saw Sunday’s away game against West Ham United at the London Stadium postponed following the death of the Queen – scrambling to recover their losses.

The move was labelled a “low blow” by nufc.com. They said: “From a supporter perspective it's another low blow. Holding off on booking transport and hotels etc. until TV fixture changes are confirmed is one thing, but to then go back and alter games again on a whim is quite another.”

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Fortunately, LNER, at the moment, is allowing fee-free changes to the cheapest Advance tickets. The train operator is also issuing refunds in the form of eVouchers,

However, some fans, inevitably, will be left with non-refundable travel and accommodation arrangements as they grapple with the cost of living crisis.

Supporters – who can spend thousands of pounds backing their team up and down the country every year, and make football the spectacle that it is on TV – need some certainty from the Premier League and broadcasters.

There’s a lot of money in top-flight football – and fans shouldn’t be left out of pocket.