Sheffield United fans send £7,251 charity 'bill' to SKY

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Sheffield United fans have sent an invoice for £7,251 to broadcasters SKY after their match at Southend United was switched from Bank Holiday Monday to the following Wednesday.

Blades supporters had been angry at the switch as many of them had pre-booked train tickets, flights, hotels and even concerts to coincide with the holiday fixture.

The bill sent to Sky by Sheffield United supporters

The bill sent to Sky by Sheffield United supporters

As a result, fans Ian Rands and Luke Prest proposed the idea of accumulating the total cost of the change and sending the bill to SKY, with the hope that the company would pay the amount to a nominated Sheffield charity.

Using the hashtag #TheBladesBigSkyBill the figures rolled in and after a deadline of Sunday was set, the final amount came to over £7,000.

A post on Ian's blog, A United View read: "The bill totals £7,271.50, representing committed rail fares, hotels, flights, additional time off work, taxi fares (in the absence of a pre-arranged lift agreed for the original fixture) and concert tickets bought for the PaulHeaton & Jacqui Abbott gig at Southend Pavilion on the Sunday night (not a concert anyone in Sheffield would think about popping to, unless there was another reason to be 200 miles away - we are sure fellow Blades fan Paul will not be offended by that!).

"We have names and in most cases addresses of people making the claim and can produce this if required.We are also aware that many other Blades fans have been more fortunate with their bookings, but have received support in our campaign all the same. This amount is less than £3,000 below the fee Sheffield United receive as the away team for this fixture, an important point of note and hopefully helps shatter the misconception that football clubs make handsomely from television coverage."

"We publicly issue this bill and in doing so ask Sky not to recompense the fans affected but, as a goodwill gesture, donate the equivalent amount to a local charity that will be selected by United supporters' choice in the coming days."

The post added: "As Jock Stein said "Football without fans is nothing", a statement that seems to be lost in the current footballing world where ticket prices rise, fixture changes and a lack of care or thought for fan welfare permeate the decisions of administrators and television companies. There is real and present danger that fans will increasingly become emotionally and financially disenfranchised from the game. This cannot be helpful for clubs, leagues or media rights holders and it needs to change."

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