Friday, December 14, 2007

FC United fans in boycott over TV kick-off switch

Source: The Chorley Citizen

Fans of UniBond Division One side FC United of Manchester look set to boycott a match in a protest at the kick-off time being shifted to suit television schedules.

FC United's clash with Curzon Ashton was due to kick off at 3pm on Saturday, December 29, but will now kick off at 12.45pm to allow the game to be shown live on the League's own internet TV channel In-Vision.

Both clubs had informed Unibond League officials that they were opposed to the switch, and the league had previously assured clubs that Saturday games would not be televised live.

Club officials of FC United say they will not attend the fixture - and have requested that supporters also boycot the match.

A statement from the FC United board on the club's website said: "TV exposure and the revenue it generates are important to football. There are times when moving a fixture is unavoidable and you only have to look at Harrogate Railway's recent televised FA Cup game to see that in some cases it is even desirable.

"But to renege on previous assurances, seek the views of clubs about a change to the kick off time and then disregard the views of the competing clubs and its supporters in this manner is unacceptable."

"The board of FC United is asking supporters to show their opposition to the League's decision by not going to the game against Curzon.

"It is regrettable that Curzon Ashton may suffer financially from the consequence of this change to the kick off time, especially given their support in opposing the switch. However the board feel that it is important that a message is sent to the League that the views of the match-going fan must take precedence and those fans should not be inconvenienced in favour of a potential Internet audience"

"All supporters are free to make up their own mind as to whether they support the call not to attend but the board of FC United believes that this particular issue is intrinsically linked to the disillusionment with top-flight football shared by many fans, that led to the formation of our club and as such a strong message needs to be communicated to the League."