Sunderland fans’ fury as London rail tickets are left useless due to Arsenal match switch

Sunderland mad family Stewart Hardie and sons Joshua, 14, and Ben, 5, from Fulwell, are upset that the away fixture against Arsenal has been rearranged, causing them hassle and costing them extra cash.
Sunderland mad family Stewart Hardie and sons Joshua, 14, and Ben, 5, from Fulwell, are upset that the away fixture against Arsenal has been rearranged, causing them hassle and costing them extra cash.
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A FED-UP family of Sunderland fans have been left out of pocket after the Black Cats’ match at Arsenal was rearranged.

Stewart Hardie, a psychiatric nurse, had booked train tickets for him and his two sons to go to London to watch Sunderland play the Gunners.

His sons Joshua, 14, who is disabled, and Ben, five, had been particularly looking forward to it as the Emirates Stadium is one of their favourite grounds.

But due to the game being shown live on television, the date of the fixture was changed.

Mr Hardie, from Fulwell, said: “We normally travel by train and always do our best to get the cheapest tickets.

“We bought these tickets for £160 to come back on the Saturday night but now they have been left totally useless.

“If we were to book new tickets and get accommodation it would cost us over £400.

“We have followed the team all over the country in pre-season and we all feel really gutted that this decision has been made.”

The six weeks’ notice required for a fixture change was given by the club but for those who had booked train tickets it was too late.

Mr Hardie said: “It seems that once again the fans are being penalised.

“I think a good gesture would be for the club to provide a bus to the game for those of us that had bought train tickets.”

A Sunderland Football Club spokesman said: “All fixtures can be subject to change, which we do advise supporters of.

“Changes such as that made to the Arsenal away game are made by the Premier League alongside the television companies.

“And while we understand that such changes may cause difficulties to some supporters, the club is obliged to comply with these requests.

“Naturally we sympathise with supporters’ concerns regarding the moving of games for live broadcast and, while such changes are out of our control, we understand the impact caused to those who have chosen to make travel arrangements well in advance.

“We always endeavour to give as much notice as possible to supporters when we are advised of a fixture change and always communicate this information at the first opportunity.”

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