June 14, 2017 / 6:47 AM / 3 months ago

Fans federation slams late Premier League games proposal

Britain Football Soccer - Chelsea v Sunderland - Premier League - Stamford Bridge - 21/5/17 General view of the Premier League trophy before the match Reuters / Hannah McKay Livepic

(Reuters) - The Football Supporters’ Federation (FSF) has warned that the proposed late evening Premier League matches could lead to “empty stands” as fans will struggle to attend games that are expected to start as late as 7:45 p.m.

The changes were proposed to broadcasters and the league’s governing body as they plan to increase the number of games that are broadcast live from 168 to 190 from the 2019-20 season, according to a report in The Times.

“Too many games are already broadcast at times which make life difficult for match-going fans, with those having the longest journeys hit especially hard,” FSF said in a statement.

”Broadcasters are reliant on the atmosphere generated by supporters which goes a long, long way to creating their attractive TV ‘product’.

“How do empty stands look? Yet broadcasters and the Premier League seem intent on scheduling games at times which are increasingly difficult for fans to get to.”

The organisation also said that BT Sport, one of the league’s current broadcasters, were a “driving force” behind the proposal and criticised them for not mentioning it at earlier meetings with the channel denying the claims.

The final decision on the new broadcasting deal will be made by the league’s governing body in February 2018.

Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru

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