'Unfairly treated' - Ally McCoist defends Burnley amid Premier League PPV fiasco
Ally McCoist has picked out Burnley supporters as one of the fanbases who are being “unfairly treated” by the decision to make some Premier League matches pay-per-view.
Since mid-October, any top flight game not selected for broadcast by Sky Sports, BT Sport, or Amazon Prime has only been viewable for a standalone fee of £14.95.
The move comes in sharp contrast to the beginning of the season, and indeed the end of the 2019/20 campaign, when all Premier League matches were available to watch at no extra cost, regardless of kick-off time or prior broadcasting arrangements.
Unsurprisingly, the new measures have led to widespread backlash from supporters across the country, with fans still not allowed back into grounds because of the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.
In response to the disgruntlement with which the price hike has been met, authorities have promised to review the policy during the next international break in November.
By that time, however, Burnley will have been on pay-per-view for three out of their last four matches, meaning that Clarets fans will have had to fork out an extra £44.85 on top of their usual streaming subscriptions to follow Sean Dyche’s side.
And McCoist has expressed his sympathy for the supporters affected by the new price structure.
Speaking on talkSPORT, he said: “I just think in the current climate, in particular, you cannot be asking people to put their hands in their pockets to pay over the odds for something that is escapism for a lot of people. It’s their life. It’s a way out, maybe an escape for an hour and a half out of these very, very difficult times – particularly in this period.
"I just think they [the Premier League] are shooting themselves in the foot. Everybody’s look for something, a little bit of salvation. A lot of people are finding that in being able to watch football.
"I haven’t spoken to anybody who thinks £14.95 is a fair price. I just think it’s over the odds. I do understand the finances. You’ve got to get your money back somehow, but just be fair about it, be realistic about it. I said yesterday, I didn’t think a fiver, £4.95, was unreasonable. I think that would be more acceptable for the fans.
"One of the lads [a talkSPORT caller] was on yesterday, and I listened to him with great interest. I think he was a West Brom supporter, and he was making a good point that clubs like that seem to be getting singled out more than the big clubs because the big clubs, a lot of their games are on and they’re not having to pay their £14.95, whereas it’s clubs like Burnley, or indeed West Brom, who have been put in a wee grouping where they’ve been unfairly treated.
"I just think they’ve missed the feeling and what the footballing general public are thinking.”
Out of the whole top flight, only Fulham and West Brom have been on pay-per-view more than Burnley since the new measures were introduced.
By the time the international break rolls around, the newly promoted pair will have had all four of their most recent matches broadcast behind a paywall.
By contrast, Manchester City and early league leaders Everton will have had no games affected by the pay-per-view restrictions.