December 12, 2022 8.30 pm This story is over 10 months old

Travel nightmare for Imps fans as 999 strikes change Southampton date

Ambulance strikes mean the game cannot go ahead

Just over a week before the game was supposed to take place, Lincoln City have brought their Carabao Cup fixture with Southampton forward due to ambulance workers’ strikes — meaning the game cannot go ahead as planned.

Lincoln City were due to take on Premier League side Southampton on Wednesday, December 21 at St Mary’s Stadium, but after strike action was announced by ambulance workers for that day, the game will now be unable to take place on that day.

The Carabao Cup fourth round tie is one of Lincoln’s biggest in recent memory, facing top flight opposition for the first time since a 7-2 drubbing against Liverpool in the same competition back in 2020. It has instead been rescheduled for Tuesday, December 20 – which is just eight days away.

Strikes have been called by ambulance workers within the GMB Union, Unite the Union and Unison, after an outright rejection of the government’s 4% pay offer, which union bosses say translates to a real terms pay cut in line with the cost of living and inflation.

This has caused major travel and transport headaches for Imps supporters, many of whom had already made arrangements for the near 400 mile round trip, leaving limited time to make alterations.

All tickets for the match, with nearly 1,500 sold for Lincoln City fans, will still remain valid on the day and any coach spaces bought will be maintained.

However, anyone who is unable to make this day is being asked to request a refund by no later than 10am on Friday, December 16 for coach tickets, and 3.30pm on Monday, December 19 for match tickets.

There is a lingering feeling among the supporter base that fans who booked time off work, as well as hotels and public transport to get to the game, have been left in the dark over this and not been given enough time to adjust their plans.

Imps chief executive Liam Scully said: “This is a very frustrating situation for all involved and we understand the substantial disruption this will cause our supporters who are planning to travel to the game, and may have booked trains or accommodation. We share those feelings.

“But this is really out of the hands of both clubs and there was no one-size-fits-all solution – there is no other realistic date in the diary we could have moved the game to.

“For anyone who is now unable to attend please make sure you claim your refund, please let us know if you’re struggling to get money back from a third party or change your plans via an email to [email protected].

“And if anyone may be able to help our fans make alternate plans to attend please get in touch via the same email address.”

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