The Owls were due to face MK Dons away from home on Good Friday before welcoming Crewe Alexandra to Hillsborough on Easter Monday, however those two 3pm kick offs have now been moved to 7.45pm starts on Saturday 16th and Tuesday 19th.
Angry fans are now being forced to change their own plans in order to attend – if they can – and many questioned why such short notice was given that the understanding was that five weeks is required.
What the EFL regulations say
Part of the EFL’s regulations state that selections for TV ‘will usually be made and be released with at least 5 weeks’ notice of the original fixture date’, but they also add that ‘under the terms of our agreement Sky are at liberty to request the movement of any fixture to another date in close proximity to the original fixture date or make a change to the kick-off time’.
It's also worth noting that, as the season goes on, the notice that needs to be given does become shorter once the business end of the campaign is reached – as has proven to be the case with Wednesday’s trip to Milton Keynes.
On the EFL website it says that ‘the minimum five-week commitment remains in place for the majority of the season’ however adds that ‘the rolling basis period commences for matches taking place from 5 March onwards is to be shortened to four weeks’ public notice’.
In line with the dates given on the league’s website, any change to Wednesday’s fixtures between April 15th and April 18th should ideally have been made by March 18th, however those dates are caveated by a prior sentence that reads: these dates are illustrative and subject to change.
Why the late announcement?
The Owls’ change that has caused annoyance amongst the fanbase was made with less than four weeks’ public notice, and it’s thought that behind-the-scenes discussions over various aspects of the rearrangement led to the delay in announcement.
Wednesday have eight games left this season as they look to climb back into the Play-Off places before it’s too late.