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Barca attack picking up steam

Barcelona 8 hours ago
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By ESPN Staff
Apr 4, 2008

Chelsea offer fans free tickets for Toffees tie

Chelsea are giving their fans free tickets for this month's rescheduled Barclays Premier League match at Everton.

The Blues are unhappy at being asked to play two league games in the space of 72 hours after their trip to Goodison Park was rescheduled for television.

The club insist the change, which sees the game put back two days to Thursday April 17, 'undermines the sporting integrity of the competition', as it comes three days after they host Wigan.

Chelsea will use the TV money gained from the game to pay for tickets and travel for their supporters.

'We've continued to make very strong representations for the date of the Everton away game to be changed,' Chelsea said in a statement.

'This now seems unlikely.

'Under these circumstances, Chelsea believes it would be inappropriate to profit from the television fee for this match as per normal.'

Chelsea have been allocated 2,900 seats for the game and will offer refunds to fans who have already bought tickets.

They also plan to pay for train or bus tickets to get supporters to and from the game.

Everton have previously described the fixture change as an 'uncomfortable precedent'.

At the time of the switch, the Premier League defended the move, saying: 'The compilation of the fixture list is a complex procedure.

'It faces enormous pressure from international match and European competition dates, as well as the need to balance the important requirements of the police and our broadcasters.

'We are also required by the European Commission to televise 138 matches per season, which brings its own inevitable pressures.'