Leeds United, Sheffield United and more fans to benefit from LNER news amid fixture scheduling chaos

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Football fans can struggle to get home after late Sunday kick offs but extra LNER trains may help amid broadcast schedule changes.

Leeds United supporters and football fans across Yorkshire are set to benefit from a new LNER train timetable making matches more accessible on a Sunday.

The days of unanimous 3 pm kick-offs on a Saturday afternoon are long gone with broadcasters calling the shots over match scheduling, much to the frustration of many managers across the football divisions in the UK.

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Last week, news broke of Premier League bosses looking at introducing Sunday late kick-offs in a move to boost domestic broadcasting deals, already worth upwards of £5 billion, from 2025 onwards.

The top flight already regularly schedules fixtures at 4:30 pm on Sunday afternoons which can leave away supporters unable to travel the long distances home on the same day.

Those Premier League problems are sadly not an issue for Leeds United supporters this season but the Championship does also occasionally plan matches to take place on a Sunday afternoon. Should the Whites bounce back to the Premier League by 2025, then current discussions over late Sunday kick-offs could impact fans.

There is some relief as LNER confirm an additional three services in its timetable on a Sunday - two (one each way) between Leeds and London King’s Cross and one between Doncaster and London. The company is also adding more seats on some of its existing Sunday services to help accommodate more people.

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In a statement, LNER explained: “This equates to more than 3000 additional seats on a Sunday and will help reduce overcrowding and increase connectivity for more people between Yorkshire and London.

LNER are running more trains on a Sunday (Image: Getty Images)LNER are running more trains on a Sunday (Image: Getty Images)
LNER are running more trains on a Sunday (Image: Getty Images) | AFP via Getty Images

“The increase in Sunday services will also release pressure on our Anglo-Scottish route by giving customers travelling to/from Doncaster, and further south, additional services to travel on at the weekend. This allows us to offer a better service for customers on all our routes every Sunday.

The additional capacity will come into effect in two phases.

“In December 2023, 3,000 seats will be introduced between Yorkshire and London. While a further 1,500 seats will be made possible by increasing the capacity of two existing West Yorkshire services and adding two more services from June 2024.”

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Premier League clubs received an update on key broadcasting talks last week with news on scheduling plans and increased financial handouts. The league’s domestic broadcasting deals with Sky Sports, TNT and Amazon Prime run out in 2025.

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