The suspension and postponement of Premier League fixtures could continue post the international break, as the Rail, Maritime and Transport [RMT] Union workers’ strike continues. The Premier League actions resumes on October 1, and the RMT has declared that it will go ahead with industrial action on October 8 which will be headed by 40,000 workers at Network Rail and 15 train operators.
As a result, fans and sports enthusiasts around the country could face travelling complications for the various sporting events. Those include the weekend football games of October 8 where Brighton host Tottenham, Chelsea welcome Wolves and Manchester City face Southampton at home in headline clashes, and also the boxing fight between Chris Eubank Jr and Conor Benn at the O2 Arena.
Premier League could once again opt to push forward the scheduled games
The concerns were raised after the Brighton vs Crystal Palace clash which was slated for last week was postponed due to the rail strike. Albion further stated that the major difficulty in continuing with the scheduled game was the lack of parking availability. The club, along with Premier League chiefs agreed to suspend the game as it would be in the best interest to do so.
Similarly, Tottenham who travel to Brighton on October 8 could face numerous troubles with their travelling and logistics as the RMT’s industrial action is slated on the same day. The fixture between the two could meet the same fate as Brighton’s game with Palace which got postponed. Other crucial clashes of Manchester City vs Southampton, Chelsea vs Wolves, Newcastle vs Brentford and Bournemouth vs Leicester City also face the risk of suspensions.
The Premier League has already underwent major alteration in their calendar after a massive 14 fixtures were postponed as a mark of respect following the Queen’s demise. They would certainly try to avoid further cancellations as it would only congest the calendar given the FIFA World Cup is also scheduled for November-December this year.
Meanwhile, the general secretary of RMT Mick Lynch too has declared that they have no plans to backtrack on their industrial action. But he also has assured that everything will be carried out peacefully and the negotiations will also be headed with “good faith”. In an official statement, Lynch said:
“We welcome this more positive approach from the government to engage with us as a first step to finding a suitable settlement. However, as no new offer has been tabled, our members have no choice but to continue this strike action. We will continue to negotiate in good faith, but the employers and government need to understand our industrial campaign will continue for as long as it takes.”
The Premier League could soon issue an official statement as well regarding the same as they hope to avoid any cancellations or suspensions. But given the lack of adequate management and potential difficulties which could be face by the travelling fans, the English top flight’s chiefs will have no option but to reschedule the games.