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Prosegue positivamente, con un rapporto di reciproco ascolto e confronto, il dialogo tra le rappresentative dei supporters dei club della Premier League e l'emittente televisiva Sky, dopo il primo contatto formale lo scorso Novembre(qui dettagli) la Football Supporters' Federation ha pubblicato un aggiornamento sul nuovo meeting tra le parti, alla presenza delle delegazioni di Spirit of Shankly, Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust e del Chelsea Supporters’ Trust, che si è tenuto alla fine di Febbraio.

Nell'incontro del 22 del mese scorso le rappresentative dei tifosi hanno avuto modo presentare le difficoltà, sopratutto per le trasferte, legate ai cambi di orario delle partite, invitando al confronto costante per limitare i casi dell'ultima ora, ma anche avuto l'occasione di entrare nei laboriosi processi tecnici e nelle necessità delle programmazioni, comprendendo le grandi difficoltà nell'organizzazione del singolo evento televisivo.

Le parti proseguiranno nei contatti per ridurre l'incidenza dei cambi dei match e sopratutto nell'opera di sensibilizzazione nei confronti della Premier League a cui resta il maggiore potere decisionale per le modifiche di date e orari.

Primi sviluppi e, almeno nelle intenzioni, aperture positive nel turbolento rapporto tra tifosi e TV arrivano grazie al percorso di cooperazione tra associazioni di tifosi e istituzioni, sia sportive che amministrative, implementato nell'ambito del Government's Expert Working Group on Fan Engagement and Supporter Ownership(qui dettagli). Dall'autunno del 2014 la Football Supporters’ Federation e Supporters Direct UK hanno affrontato diverse tematiche che ruotano nell'orbita del tifoso con le principali leghe inglesi(Football Association, Premier League, Football League, Football Conference) e prodotto una serie di raccomandazioni specifiche per favorire l'instaurazione di un duraturo rapporto di confronto e valorizzare l'apporto costruttivo delle organizzazioni di supporters all'intero sistema(qui dettagli).
Il comunicato da fsf.org.uk

Fan reps meet Sky Sports – February 22nd, 2017

In November, representatives of the Chelsea Supporters' Trust, Spirit of Shankly, THST and the Football Supporters' Federation met with senior Executives from Sky Sports to discuss the impact of the rescheduling of Premier League matches for broadcast on match going fans, particularly away supporters. A further meeting was held on 22 February, with comment to follow.

Ongoing dialogue surrounding the scheduling of Premier League fixtures for TV took place at the latest meeting between supporter groups and representatives from Sky Sports.

The meetings were set up to give consideration to supporter groups and the impact on fans, particularly travelling fans, of fixture schedule changes when making TV selections, while at the same time outlining the requirements and considerations that have to be taken into account from a broadcast perspective.

Sky Sports is always mindful of the impact of their selections, taking this into consideration where possible on TV picks to minimise the impact on fans. The company also recognises that its customers and match-going fans are one and the same.

Fan reps now a have a greater understanding of the complexities of fixture scheduling, particularly the various contractual obligations broadcasters must meet.

Kat Law from the Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust, said: “We were encouraged by Sky’s enthusiasm to continue to build a working relationship with supporter representatives and the desire, from the top of the organisation, to consider travelling supporters when scheduling matches for live coverage.”

Gary Hughes, Sky Sports Head of Football, said: “We welcome this conversation with supporters about travelling to away matches and understanding the issues they face. It has also been helpful to outline the process we go through to select live fixtures, and the contractual obligations that ensure every club and every ground is featured regularly across the various slots we can schedule matches in. We have listened to the feedback, will continue to do so and widen this dialogue in future.”

While broadcasters have an influence on the match schedule throughout the season, the ultimate responsibility for fixture scheduling rests with the Premier League, and supporter groups are renewing the call for representatives from the Premier League to engage in these discussions as positively as Sky have done.

The supporter reps will now seek meetings with the Premier League, BT Sport, the train operators and individual clubs as they look for a joined-up approach to ensuring fixture rescheduling for broadcast purposes has minimal impact on travelling fans in the future.

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