Will there be trains? Will there be buses? Who will make the trip to the 8pm Kick Off at the Amex on Boxing Day?
Brighton & Hove Albion fans will surely be crying ‘humbug’ as the Premier League have announced the fixture changes for December.
Most of Albion’s matches change in some form or another.
The most significant of these is the Boxing Day fixture at home to Brentford – this has been put back to 8pm on a Sunday evening, but not just any Sunday, a Boxing Day Sunday a day that traditionally Brighton & Hove buses finish at 5pm and train services don’t run at all.
Who, apart from those living in or having an affinity to West London or Sussex will want to watch two teams who are both relatively new to the Premier League is a puzzle.
At the time of writing the most effective train to get from Brighton to Falmer for kick off against Brentford is the 23:41 on Christmas Eve. The next scheduled service is the 05:37 on the 27th December.
Brighton & Hove bus on line timetables do currently show the service 25 calling at Sussex University at around kick off time on December 26th, but also shows the same scheduled on 25th December, and we’re sure that’s not right.
So for a stadium that the football club occasionally boasts is almost 90% accessed by public transport – having a match at 8pm on one of only two days out of 365 where public transport workers take some well deserved rest, appears to be misjudged.
But Albion are obligated to their paymasters. It is likely a resolution of some kind will be sought, although it is unlikely the date and kick off time will be changed.
Perhaps Brighton & Hove Buses outgoing MD Martin Harris will provide a full service as his swan-song. Although the unions might have something to say about that. The unions can be quite influential in Brighton & Hove it seems.
So an attendance made up of cyclists, those with a parking space, those who use private coach firms, very very hardy ramblers and Falmer village residents (who’d have thought it eh) might swell the crowd to around 11,000 with an announced pre-attendance of 31,207.
As Denis Norden will no doubt have told us as a recognition to Brentford’s nickname ‘ it will Bee alright on the night’. Probably.
Albion take Premier League Champions Manchester City at a much more reasonable 5:30pm this Saturday 23 October, at a hopefully, easily accessible Amex Stadium.
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