The Federation of Independent Retailers (NFRN) has reacted angrily to the announcement of a 30-minute cut-off extension by national newspaper publishers because of an England World Cup qualifier football match next week.
The England men’s team take on Albania in the group I match at Wembley, with kick-off at 7.45pm on Friday, November 12.
In a bid to minimise the number of newspapers being sent out the following morning without the result and coverage of the game, publishers are planning a 30-minute delay in deliveries to retailers in England and Wales.
NFRN head of news and Connect Brian Murphy said: “We realise that cut-off extensions are sometimes necessary for major events and big breaking news stories, but this is a fairly minor football match.
“Saturdays are already the worst day of the week in terms of late newspaper deliveries, and our members are sick and tired of the problem regularly being exacerbated by Friday night football fixtures.
“In the modern era of 24-hour news available on TV and online, anyone interested in finding out a result or reading a match report no longer has to wait until the following morning.
“Also, we can’t understand why this latest in a series of cut-off extensions should affect news retailers in Wales, whose customers are unlikely to be that interested in the outcome of the England match.”
Mr Murphy added that he will be taking the matter up at the next meeting of the Press Distribution Forum on November 10, before consumers stand beside retailers and take to social media to protest.
Jonathan Powell is a news roundsman in the Newport area of Wales. He said: “It’s hard for me to explain and justify to my customers why they will be receiving their papers late because of an England football match.
“There are far too many cut-off extensions due to football these days. It would be better for the industry if people got their papers when they wanted them. It also affects our deliverers, who are going out later on their rounds.”