The Foxes Trust is working with fellow Supporters Trusts to highlight an issue which needs urgently addressing ahead of the new season.
Under current plans, unlike Project Restart, not every Premier League game will be televised, with 160 matches receiving no live coverage in the UK.
The season will commence with empty stadiums and then is likely to progress to matches with at most one-third of capacity in attendance. This means that loyal fans who have no underlining health issues will only be able to see one in three home games.
For those who have underlying health issues, attendance will not be possible at all, and the current plans penalise these fans the most.
In an article in the Daily Telegraph, Katrina Law of the Tottenham Hotspur Supporters Trust said “Fans are expecting – probably quite rightly – the same broadcast coverage that we had through Project Restart.
“I don’t think the penny has dropped. And I think that is going to be a major, major problem.
“Match-going fans are absolutely going to expect fair broadcast access to games that they’re prevented from attending for public health and safety reasons.”
“It would only be match-going fans in the Premier League in the UK who would be deprived of watching their team. Unless, of course, the Premier League and the broadcasters want to encourage us all to stream illegally.”
In the same article Dave Pennington, vice-chair of the Manchester United Supporters Trust, said the Premier League should also consider guaranteeing season-ticket holders access to live coverage of their teams’ games until stadiums were back to full capacity, adding that to do otherwise would be a double-whammy for those unable to attend because of capped attendances.
The Foxes Trust has discussed the issue with Leicester City, but decisions on this topic are made nationally, so the Foxes Trust is working alongside the Tottenham Hotspur Supporters Trust and other fans groups to initially make fans aware before lobbying broadcasters, political figures along with further dialogue with the Premier League.
The aim is to get broadcasters, the Premier League and the clubs together to discuss that this in the best interests of fans who are their customers and consumers. When stadiums are open to full capacity, they will all want full stadiums, so it would be very short-sighted for them not to allow fans to watch their teams now.
Foxes Trust Chairman, Ian Bason, said “Fans understand these are difficult and unusual times. They were grateful that Project Restart happened and were able to watch matches even though they were behind closed doors. These new plans are a real shock to them.
The plans directly hit the most loyal fans and that loyalty is being completely disregarded. Someone thousands of miles away can watch a game, whilst the loyal fan who has watched every one of his or her beloved team’s games for many many years will not be able to. This is simply not right. Added to which, those supporters with underlying health issues are being doubly discriminated against – being able neither to attend the matches nor watch on TV.
“Fans have become wearily accustomed to playing second fiddle to the demands of international television audiences, but this announcement caps it all.”