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Shadow sports minister Dr Rosena Allin-Khan is calling on the Government to deliver a flexible rail fare for football fans facing late fixture changes.
The MP has launched a petition calling for the introduction of a “Fans ‘ Fare” that would allow supporters to book train tickets in advance and protect them from late fixture changes due to TV.
Now a petition has been launched by Labour to get the public behind the idea – an idea that supporters have been lobbying the authorities on for a number of years, led by the FSF.
“Every week, away fans are stung when fixtures are rescheduled for TV rights, forcing them to miss out on the cheapest train tickets,” Dr Allin-Khan said this week.
“It is deeply unfair that fans miss out on the cheapest tickets, cannot change the date or in some cases, cannot travel at all.”
Labour adopted a commitment to flexible ticketing for football supporters as part of its 2017 general election manifesto following discussions with the FSF.
Football fan representatives have been lobbying competition bodies, rail companies and government authorities for a flexible rail fare for a number of years via the Rail Delivery Group (the British rail industry membership body that brings together passenger and freight rail companies and Network Rail).
FSF caseworker Amanda Jacks said: “This is something we’ve been pushing on for years via talks with individual train operating companies and the Rail Delivery Group.
“I sincerely hope the shadow sports minister is successful in making this happen. Fans contribute millions to the rail economy. It’s time to give something back.”
With broadcasters having an huge impact on the fixture schedule, with more than half of all Premier League games being moved, the issue of public transport and particularly train travel, is likely to become an increasingly thorny.
“Fans must not be at the mercy of billion pound broadcasting deals,” Dr Allin-Khan said. “Without supporters, football simply would not be the same. Fans’ voices must be heard. We demand a Fans’ Fare.”