Chelsea supporters left furious after Sheffield United forced a bizarre kick-off time change to game at Bramall Lane – just three days after it was first decided – due to a local half-marathon which passes the stadium

  • It had been announced earlier this week that the game would kick-off at 1.30pm
  • However, it has been moved due to the long-standing Sheffield Half Marathon
  • Is Bruno Fernandes good enough to make the bench for Manchester City? Listen to the It’s All Kicking Off podcast 

Chelsea fans are furious after the kick-off time for their trip to Sheffield United on Sunday April 7 was changed for a second time in three days – in what has been blasted as a ‘kick in the teeth’ and ‘disrespectful’.

On Tuesday, it was announced that the match would be kicking off at 1.30pm. On Friday, however, it was changed to 5.30pm after a request from the home club with the Premier League writing: ‘This kick-off time has been selected to allow adequate return travel for visiting supporters.’

Yet the Chelsea Supporters Trust have released a fiery statement in which they stress that many fans had already arranged travel plans.

‘We have been informed that the change has had to be made due to the Sheffield Half Marathon which takes place earlier that day,’ the CST said. 

‘There has been a suggestion that the decision makers were unaware of the Half Marathon when initially authorising the lunchtime kick-off, despite the Sheffield Half Marathon being a long-standing event in the city centre.

Chelsea supporters have reacted angrily to the latest late scheduling change by the Premier League

Chelsea were also made to travel away from home on the first Christmas Eve fixture in 28 years

Chelsea were also made to travel away from home on the first Christmas Eve fixture in 28 years

‘In a season where Chelsea have kicked off only four times at the traditional 3pm and have had many inconvenient kick-off time slots (including the first Christmas Eve fixture in 28 years), this is just another kick in the teeth to loyal match-going supporters.

‘This is the latest occasion of supporters being treated with disrespect, especially as this issue was totally foreseeable. Our message to all parties involved with fixture scheduling is clear: stop treating match-going supporters with total disrespect or risk stadiums becoming lifeless, soulless, and without passion.’

The CST are encouraging supporters to email them details of any additional expenses which will be incurred by them – which they plan to send to the clubs.