Foxes fans urged to donate pay-per-view costs to charity

By James Wynn

Leicester City football fans have been urged to donate money that would have been spent on their team’s games to charity in opposition to the Premier League’s new pay-per-view scheme.

The ‘Charity Not PPV’ campaign led to £20,000 being raised by Newcastle fans for a local foodbank last weekend, with around 1,300 fans donating the £14.95 fee Sky Sports were charging for the Magpies’ game against Manchester United.

This movement has now led to calls for a nationwide campaign, with Leicester fans also urged to donate their money if they can.

“The only way to stop PPV football becoming the norm is to not buy it now. If they establish demand it will become a thing,” one Leicester fan said on Twitter.

“Give your £14.95 to a foodbank today and listen to it on the radio. Or go to the pub and watch it.”

Since football restarted following lockdown in June, all Premier League games have been available as part of existing Sky Sports, BT Sport and Amazon Prime packages, while five games were shown free on BBC One.

However, with fans not expected to return to grounds in the UK until next March, this was decided to be unsustainable and fans of 10 of the 20 Premier League clubs will now need to pay extra to watch their teams’ games every weekend.

The Premier League refused to reveal how many PPV passes were purchased for this weekend’s action, saying the information was “commercially sensitive”.

Many Leicestershire charities and causes were touted as suitable for Foxes fans’ cash, including Help the Homeless Leicester, Trussell Trust and local football clubs, like Barwell FC, who are crowdfunding for a new astroturf 3G pitch.

One fan said, “Why don’t supporters who are considering £14.95 for Sky PPV make a donation to the pitch rather than be fleeced further?”

This message was endorsed by Barwell manager Guy Hadland, who called it a “good shout”.

The Foxes lost their first pay-per-view game on Sunday, as a Ross Barkley strike in the 91st minute condemned Brendan Rodgers’ side to their second straight home defeat against Aston Villa.

Leicester charities will hope to profit from fans’ generosity as they face Arsenal on Sunday evening, with a pass for the game once again costing £14.95.

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