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Newcastle fans ‘appalled’ by FA Cup kick-off time leaving supporters stranded in London

The Newcastle United Supporters’ Trust have criticised the scheduling of the FA Cup fourth round  (REUTERS)
The Newcastle United Supporters’ Trust have criticised the scheduling of the FA Cup fourth round (REUTERS)

The Newcastle Supporters’ Trust (NUST) have said they are “appalled” by the decision to schedule their FA Cup fourth round tie for late on a Saturday that could strand supporters in London.

Eddie Howe’s side will take on Fulham for a place in the fifth round, with kick off set for 7pm GMT on Saturday 27 January.

The encounter at Craven Cottage is one of six games selected for television coverage across the weekend, with ITV4 broadcasting the fixture.

But the late start will leave travelling away fans with a dilemma, with the last train back to Newcastle from King’s Cross scheduled for 9pm.

It will therefore be impossible for anyone returning to Tyneside to make it home via public transport and see the entirety of the game.

“Once again we are appalled at the lack of thought given to travelling supporters ahead of our FA Cup match at Craven Cottage,” the NUST said in a statement.

“A 7pm kick-off leaves supporters with no option of catching a train home with the last train for Newcastle departing Kings Cross at 9pm, leaving thousands now looking for accommodation in London with only two weeks notice.

“The financial and logistical burden imposed on travelling fans by TV companies is shocking in an industry reaping huge profits. It is always the fans who pay the price.

‘The loyalty of our supporters is once again being taken for granted in the knowledge that we will fill the away end regardless of the kick-off time. We urge the incoming football regulator to ensure that significant changes are put in place to ensure that fans are prioritised when it comes to TV scheduling of games.”

Manchester City fans will face similar issues for their trip to Tottenham Hotspur on Friday 26 January.

The fixture will also be shown on ITV and kicks off at 8pm, with the last direct train between London Euston and Manchester Piccadilly departing just after 10pm.