Thursday, December 20, 2007

Reds boycott

By Staff Sports Reporter

A WAR of words has broken out between an internet broadcaster and FC United, whose board is urging its fans to boycott a crunch match.

The breakaway club travel to UniBond League Division One North leaders Curzon Ashton on December 29.

But United's board is urging supporters not to attend after television firm In Vision moved the kick-off time from 3pm to 12.45 so it could be shown live on the internet.

FC, who were founded in 2005, after American businessman Malcolm Glazer took over Manchester United, oppose the idea of games being moved to suit television audiences at the inconvenience of spectators.

In a statement, the board claimed In Vision had given assurances no kick-off time would change for live screenings without the agreement of both clubs.

It said: "As a result of these assurances not being maintained and that the league management committee have gone against the expressed wishes of both clubs, the board of FC United and club officials will not be present at the fixture.

"In line with that position, the board requests that supporters exercise their power to influence decisions, by also not attending.

"For those who do not and seek an alternative it is hoped an event' at our reserve fixture against Eagle Sports at Abbey Hey on the same day at 2pm will be held."

Curzon Ashton stand to lose about £10,000 in lost revenue from the boycott, which has been heavily backed by United fans who have signed a petition against the kick-off alteration.

Curzon chairman Harry Galloway said they would prefer the game to start at 3pm and were disappointed to be losing a cash injection, but they plan to fulfil the fixture to abide by club rules.

Reacting to FC United's statement, In Vision said: "The board of In Vision would like to categorically state that at no time were any promises made in respect of changing kick-off times on a Saturday. Therefore, the key point put forward by the board of FCUM against moving kick-off times and broken promises is invalid simply because no promises were ever made."

FC will return to action for the first time in two weeks when they face Woodley Sports at Gigg Lane on Saturday - and at Radcliffe Borough four days later.

Their previous two games, including last Saturday's trip to Ossett Albion, were postponed due to the weather.


Wednesday 19th December 2007