Premier League forced to deny ‘dangerous precedent’ as Leeds United development emerges

The Premier League has denied that plans to break the 3pm blackout for Manchester City’s clash with Leeds United next month will set a “dangerous precedent”, according to the Daily Mail.

The game has been rescheduled from Sunday 7 May to Saturday 6 May due to City’s Champions League meeting with Real Madrid on Tuesday 9 May.

Their Premier League encounter with the Whites cannot be scheduled at lunchtime due to the King’s Coronation, and cannot be played in the evening due to a lack of police resourcing.

“The Premier League were forced to deny that plans to break the 3pm blackout to broadcast Manchester City’s game against Leeds on the day of the King’s Coronation will set a dangerous precedent for one of football’s most precious traditions,” according to the Mail on Sunday.

“City’s fixture was due to be shown on Sky Sports on Sunday, May 7 but has been brought forward by a day due to the first leg of their Champions League semi-final on May 9 against Real Madrid.

“The Premier League match will now take on place on Saturday, May 6 at 3pm with the game still scheduled to be televised despite falling inside the blackout period that bans football matches in the UK being televised.”

Exceptional circumstances

Also known as Article 48 of the UEFA Statutes, the blackout blocks the broadcast of matches at any level in England between 2.45pm and 5.15pm on a Saturday. The rule is in place to protect match attendances and participation at grassroots level.

It perhaps could have all been avoided in the first place had the powers that be jumped on the bandwagon and realised that Man City were always going to progress in Europe.

The next Premier League TV rights deal will definitely be interesting to follow after this latest development, but the circumstances are indeed exceptional, with the King’s Coronation playing a major part in this decision.

Leeds won’t care too much about the timing of this huge clash, with the Man City meeting set to represent a massive challenge regardless of when it takes place.

The Whites will undoubtedly want to give their all, but at the same time will be looking towards other, more winnable games when it comes to trying to secure their Premier League safety.