Royal British Legion 'disgust' after Burnley Blackburn Rovers football fixture switched to Remembrance Sunday for Sky Sports television coverage

The Burnley and Padiham branch of the Royal British Legion, as well as swathes of Burnley Football Club fans, have reacted with disgust that the Clarets’ East Lancashire derby with rivals Blackburn Rovers has been switched to Remembrance Sunday to allow for a live Sky Sports broadcast.

When the Burnley Express first revealed the switch in dates, angry Clarets fans let their feelings known on our social media pages, anger which has now been followed up with a stinging rebuke of the club and Sky Sports by the local branch of the British Legion, which represents veterans in the town.

Burnley’s rearranged fixture against their bitter local rivals is now due to kick off at noon on Sunday, November 13th at Turf Moor

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Burnley Football Club's East Lancashire derby with rivals Blackburn Rovers to be...
Chairman of the Royal British Legion in Burnley Billy Allott is disgusted by the time change of the Burnley v Blackburn Rovers fixture which means that it will now clash with the annual Remembrance Service. Photo: Kelvin Stuttard

Mr Billy Allott, the chairman of the Burnley and Padiham branch, and a Clarets supporter for 60 years, has written to the various bodies involved and said he is also considering not renewing his season ticket.

He said: “Today I have emailed Sky, the Football Assocation, the English Football League and many others on behalf of all veterans and relatives of those killed in action, expressing the disgust we feel by showing the Burnley versus Rovers match live on television on Remembrance Sunday at 12 noon.

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“I have included a letter of a formal complaint. I would have thought Burnley Football Club and Blackburn Rovers Football Club would have been more thoughtful about the significance of the date.

“As for Sky, I suggest the programe controller should either go on a history course or resign. I have appealed to the police to ask Sky to reconsider the timing of the match on health and safety grounds.

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“I have been a Claret supporter for over 60 years. If Burnley Football Club do nothing I shall not be renewing my season ticket in the future.

“That's how upset and disgusted I am with both clubs and Sky.

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“Over the last 12 years I have escorted our RBL Branch Standard on every Remembrance match and proud to do so. I am seriously now reconsidering the situation in light of this development.”

A Sky Sports spokesperson said: “As with all fixture changes, the kick-off time for Burnley v Blackburn Rovers was considered and approved by all parties including both clubs, the EFL and local police. Time will be taken at the match to give those in attendance the chance to pay their respects to servicemen and women affected by wars past and present, as has been done in previous matches played at this time for many years.”

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The Royal British Legion says that Remembrance Sunday is a national opportunity to remember the service and sacrifice of all those that have defended our freedoms and protected our way of life.

We remember the Armed Forces, and their families, from Britain and the Commonwealth, the vital role played by the emergency services and those that have lost their lives as a result of conflict or terrorism.

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The National Service of Remembrance is held at The Cenotaph in Whitehall on Remembrance Sunday.