Date: 23rd November 2007 at 3:13pm
Written by:

It appears that our away game at Sunderland, which was originally scheduled for Saturday 12th January 2008 at 3pm, will now take place at 1.30pm the following day.

The reason for this change is of course the match is being shown by Sky Sports on their early Sunday afternoon slot. Great for the clubs who will now get some TV money but what about the fans and in particular the Pompey fans who might have fancied going?

Well you won’t get a train there in time for kick off that’s for sure. The first train out of London would get you into Sunderland fourteen minutes after KO. That’s with a new train company called Grand Central who as yet can’t confirm that they will be running that particular train, or indeed any train yet. GNER who do run a service won’t get you there until nearly half time.

If you wish to fly then you have to go to, dare I say it, to Southampton airport. A flight I found on Travelocity with a ‘no frills’ airline, which gets you to Newcastle by 12.30pm, with a return at 18.40pm, and costs £123. Not bad, until you consider you have to get to and from both airports, which will add a fair amount onto that, in terms of both money and time. Flights from London Heathrow cost £127 for those of you who might live in London.

You could always get a National Express coach. You’ll have to leave on Saturday night though to do this although it only costs £48. Another catch is you won’t get home until Monday morning! Megabus costs only £14 although by the looks of their buses it would be like a rerun of Summer Holiday with Cliff Richard. Again though it`s a Saturday departure for a Monday return.

I don’t know what the club intend to offer in the way of coaches but for those of us who don’t live in Pompey (or anywhere near it) they won’t be of much use.

I could drive but I do that all week at work and my carbon footprint would be huge along with my petrol bill.

I thought about cycling and even walking it but don’t reckon I’d be back home for a week. That wouldn’t go down too well.

I do like a challenge when planning an away game but this is too much.

So why don’t the Premier League think about fans and the consequences of changing matches for TV coverage? Especially when the teams involved are at opposite ends of the country. Do they not want away fans to attend games any more? I will ask them and let you know the answer (don’t hold your breath).

So am I right or am I wrong? I just want a normal 3pm KO. I wonder whether Sunderland fans will have the same problem when we play them in February?

Written by The Rabbi.

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19 Replies to “How are you going to get to Sunderland away?”

  • yet again another crackin’ article, this time by The Rabbi, who make his vital pompey debut… this is another sign of that fact that sky dont give a flying one about anything or anyone – pompey fans – so long as they get what they want!

  • Rabbi they have never bothered about the supporters as your article points out so well.
    We are going by mini-bus from Liverpool and it is a 3-4 hour journey from here on a good day.
    I think that our Scottish Brethren at Clan Pompey will have an easier journey than most of us.

  • well, im not going. sunderland is miles away, its expensive, and as you point out, its bl****y awquard. perhaps its time for pompeey to offer its excellent fans free coach trips again?

  • Well here’s a salute to all of you who do make it up there. I would hope the team would lay on some coaches given the circumstances. After all, Noisy Fans = 12th man = Pompey goals = more points = higher place finishes = more cash for the club. A no brainer if you ask me.

  • I don’t do away games these days but having travelled to Sunderland before I know how long a journey it is – Like Toronto those that can (somehow) manage to go deserve praise. It’s crazy that the fans are not considered by Sky and the other TV companies that mess the fixtures around to meet their programming schedules

  • In the earlyish 90s, with a mate, went up for a midweek game, Div 1. They were flying at the top we were struggling, expected to get beat & did. Drove up early, found a b&b. Had a look round, it’s a dump. Saw the ground well before KO, we were a novelty, so few coming so far. They allowed us to have a look inside the ground whilst it was empty. Top stadia. Went for food & a few beers. Went to the game, lost, few beers, b&b. Drove home the next day. It’s worth doing at least once.

  • Nice one Rabbi. Crazy how TV rules the waves these days. As I am getting very old these days won’t be going and watch it on TV but the fans who want to travel should come first! Coaches from Pompey would have to leave at 6am or earlier.

  • went to sunderland in the late 90s from plymouth, and for a midweek game too… it was a beast of a journey! we kipped in the mini bus, a long, long journey but well worth it… it looks as tho journeys being made this time will have to be made in similar fashion as the trains arent gonna happen are they?

  • you cant beat being at the game, and if i could be there – or afford to be there more to the point! – i would, but it think i will be following lysi and his example of simply walking to the tv to watch it there…

  • I witnessed the Sunderland FA Cup winning side of 1973 beat us 2-0 at Roker Park just prior to their great feat. Jim Montgomery was at the opposite side of the goal and we had Ron Tilsed. Ron now lives and works in Sydney and we have Business contacts. I stayed in the Roker Park Hotel that night after watching us go down to the FA Cup Heir apparents. I even got into the Black Cats Club, simply because I slid in behind Mick Horsfield, a player, with the guy on the door just assuming I was with him. I haven’t succeeded in doing that at other clubs since, so don’t think I do it all the time. Sunderland used to be my nemisis, having my best mate in the UK hailing from there and watching us at Fratton go down 1-4 one year. Another time we went together before I emigrated and we led 1-0 before Bobby Kerr and some other b@rstard in the 89th and 90th minute, made me feel sick as a pig. I then had to sponsor the match ball in April 1989 V Sunderland (along with my best greyhound – Pompey Gray) which we won 2-0. Ironically is was to be our only win in our last 13 games, as well as our 13th win of the season, as we continued to struggle. I met the current Pompey Secretary Paul Weld in a Sunderland Railway Diner in those dodgey days. Then he was working for the FA at Lancaster Gate as a clerk. Hasn’t he done well. I actually played cricket in the same team as him for the London Branch of the Pompey Supporters Club V Portsmouth Branch and I cleaned bowled poor Old Harry Norris, a long time stewart of the club. I think I have dragged this out a bit so I apologise….I just love Pompey, and can’t help my history with them.

  • im sure that im not alone in saying that i was fascinated by what you wrote – i always am when people share their stories, even more so in article format where they are never missed… sometimes in comments they are.

  • Nice memories PompeyGray I wouldn’t worry about dragging things out … have you seen some of my articles … I set out with a target of writing no more than 100 words… I’ve yet to come anywhere near it … 1536 I think was my closet…

  • Sunderland away? Sod that for a game of soldiers! Given our current magnificent away form it’s slightly more tempting than it would’ve been though.
    Like Rabbi stated however, it’s on Sky and that’s definitely the clincher for me….save the money, save the ridiculous journey, and enjoy the game (and the support of the more hardened Pompey travellers) from pub/armchair.

  • I went by van to sunderland in 92/93 for the game we needed to win to go up, and lost 4-1. About 7000 went up. I left Pompey at 5am on saturday morning and got back at 5.30am the following morning. needless to say i consumed a fair amount of alcohol! the good old days.

  • Rabbi what a bad day that was especially for Walshy and Guy Butters, however we have to go now as we are on a real roll and marching towards Europe.

  • Oh yes that 4-1 loss at Roker, with 9 men and no Washie for the matches against Leicester. I recollect that West Ham had scored 1 more goal than us. Perhaps Sunderland were on a payback mission for 1963 when they needed us to lose less than 2-0 or 5-1 at last game Chelsea (based on goal difference those days). Bobby Tambling bagged 4 as we got rooted 7-0 !!. That game was played in LATE MAY (22nd or 23rd) due to the very bad Winter when fixtures were called off week in week out.

  • surely this assures that sky will get more viewers tho…

    more akward and expensive means that less people will want to travel all that way meaning more people watch on tv.

    i still think its outrageous them doing this

  • amazingly at sunderland in 92/93 after the game guy butters asked me outside the ground if i was a pompey fan. he was with his dad. he then apologised for getting sent off and for wasting my journey. i told him not to worry (even though i was *****ed off) about it. i should have kicked him!

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