Football supporters have raised in excess of £20,000 for food bank charities by donating money instead of shelling out for pay-per-view games shown on the Sky Sports and BT Sport box office services.
Why are there pay-per-view games?
After a deal was agreed between the Premier League and various other stakeholders, it was decided that football matches which are not selected for regular TV coverage will be made available to watch pay-per-view, for a fee of £14.95 per game.
But the plan has been roundly criticised by supporters and several high profile footballing figures, with Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville calling it “a really bad move by the Premier League.”
What’s the problem?
Many fans see being asked to pay a relatively high amount to watch the games unfair, considering they often already pay subscription charges for the TV platforms, and many have also paid for seasons tickets which have been deferred due to the pandemic.
How much has been raised for charity?
One of the first matches to be available on a pay-per-view basis was Newcastle United versus Manchester United on 17 October. Newcastle fans raised more than £20,000 for the city’s West End foodbank by not paying to watch the match and donating the money instead.
Other supporter groups have already encouraged fans to boycott the pay-per-view games and donate to charity instead, under the banner of ‘Charity not PPV’.
Ahead of their first pay-per-view game against Aston Villa, Leeds United fans have already raised more than £5000 for the Leeds Fans Foodbank appeal.
Commenting on the JustGiving appeal page, one fan who had donated said, “No way am I paying for PPV on top of the ridiculous price they already charge me. I’d rather give it to a worthy cause such as this. Well done the Supporters Trust. MOT”.
Fans from a number of other clubs have expressed their support for the cause on Twitter, with one Liverpool supporter tweeting a screenshot of a donation confirmation text.
He said, “I love watching my team @LFC play, but this Saturday night - NO - enough is enough @SkySports I donate £15 instead to [Fans Supporting Foodbanks].”