Fans have been appalled at the decision to make Premier League games that aren’t selected for TV broadcast available only by paying a fee of £14.95. Many supporters believe this to be an unreasonable expectation, given the cost of various TV sports packages already. In protest against paying even more to watch their sides, fans have made their feelings known by giving money to local causes instead.
Nine pay-per-view games have been shown so far since Chelsea faced Southampton at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, 17 October. Newcastle United fans have raised over £60,000 after boycotting their sides 4-1 defeat against Manchester United last weekend. Over £120,000 has been raised for North Liverpool food bank by Liverpool fans following their 2-1 victory over Sheffield United on Saturday.
Leeds United fans have donated £57,000 instead of splashing out to see their team beat Aston Villa 3-0 on Friday. Tottenham Hotspur supporters have raised around £16,000 even though their first pay-per-view game is not until they face Brighton at home on 1 November. West Bromwich Albion, Sheffield United and Fulham fans have also made contributions.
In the last five days, 2300 Arsenal supporters have given a total of £35,000 to Islington Giving instead of watching the Gunners lose 1-0 to Leicester City on Sunday.
The indignation from fans at spending £14.95 to watch their sides has been hugely beneficial to the local charities of those clubs. While all football fans love to watch their side, this is considered a matter of principle and in this case, fans feel their money would be of better use being given to charity. Sooner or later, the Premier League may have to admit defeat.