Why Sunderland scrapped plans to beamback tonight's Accrington Stanley clash for free

Sunderland had planned to hold a beamback of their clash with Accrington Stanley
Sunderland had planned to hold a beamback of their clash with Accrington Stanley
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Sunderland AFC had planned to broadcast tonight's clash with Accrington Stanley for free - but scrapped plans for a beamback at the Stadium of Light.

The Black Cats were keen to reward supporters who had made the journey to the Wham Stadium in December, only for the clash to be abandoned due to heavy rainfall in the second half.

And fanzine A Love Supreme revealed earlier today that plans were in place to offer a free beamback of the game to supporters who had attended the initial tie but were unable to make tonight's midweek clash.

However, plans were scrapped after Stanley asked for a fee to air the game.

The news saw Sunderland fans hit out at Accrington owner Andy Holt, who has frequently championed supporters' rights via his social media channels.

But Holt has defended his decision to ask Sunderland to pay a 'small fee' to broadcast the game - claiming it would be unfair on some supporters - and hit back at assertions that Stanley had 'blocked' the Black Cats from running such a promotion.

In response to ALS' tweet, Holt said: "And what about those that have bought tickets not knowing you wanted to stream the match live for free?

"And if it was free to air to your fans that paid last time, what about our fans that aren’t season ticket holders and have paid once?

"What about the lower gate because of free streaming?

"It’s alright you saying we are blocking you, we aren’t. We still have all the costs.

"For a small fee @SunderlandAFC could have gone ahead. They chose not to.

"I thank all those visiting tonight. Football needs travelling supporters"

In a subsequent tweet, Holt confirmed that the fee Sunderland would have needed to pay was £5,000.

Sunderland's initial trip to Lancashire was abandoned with the scores at 1-1, with Chris Maguire having netted for Jack Ross' side.

Travelling fans were unable to claim a refund for tickets purchased for the clash, with EFL guidelines stating that clubs only have to offer a percentage of the match ticket as a refund if a game is postponed prior to half-time.