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Protest Against Sky Tv At Everton Away

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Sky Sports cameras will have to be careful when they film Chelsea's controversial live game at Everton on Thursday night.

Visiting fans will stage a protest about the late fixture switch from Saturday to Thursday to suit TV, and they plan to unfurl a banner stating: "You can stick your Rupert Murdoch where the sun don't shine".

Both Everton and Chelsea are unhappy, the London club saying it undermines "the sporting integrity of the competition".

But any demonstration leaves Everton with a dilemma over whether to allow a banner that embarrasses Premier League paymasters Sky Sports, or to try to stop the protest, which could lead to accusations of being heavy handed and anti free-speech. Sky Sports reporters have been warned to avoid "troublemakers" when doing interviews with Chelsea supporters.

Manager Avram Grant has hit out at the Premier League for forcing his side to play only 72 hours after they face Wigan, claiming it gives United an unfair advantage.

Fans groups claim supporters will lose money on travel already booked for the original fixture.

David Johnson, of Chelsea fanzine CFCUK, said: "Sky Sports don't seem to care about the fans. I hope Everton recognise it's a legitimate protest and don't get heavy handed."

Chelsea have agreed to pay for supporters' travel and match tickets for the game but will not refund travel tickets booked for the original match. Everton have described the fixture change as an "unfortunate precedent".

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