Let's get real, it's time to scrap the 20:00 kick-offs

The dreaded late kick-off

It's always nice to know that when you finish work you can watch the team you love, win lose or draw. It gets some people through their day. You tell the wife not to cook tea because you'll grab a burger on the way to the ground. You express a little more banter than usual at the office. And you take your scarf to work for the walk across town with the rest of the fans.

But, if you finish at 5pm, what do you do for the other three hours before the game? Work the later shift? Have a few beers down the road? Go home for a bit? Neither are that appealing on a Tuesday.

'I've got work in the morning'

"I'd love to go tonight, but I'm up at seven". "I should probably go home and see the kids". "I might as well just watch it on TV at that time". The well-justified reasons are endless and we all use them when you get asked if you're going to the game or not.

Plus, the average price paid for a Premier League ticket last season was £31, and we all know it is way more with the travel, food and beers along the way. These days, if you go to a Premier League game, you're looking at close to £50, which is a lot when you're going back to work in a matter of hours.

Plus, I'm sure we all want to be in the bath and bed by 11pm if you're in the next day. But, if there is a late kick-off, we're lucky to be on home soil before 11.

Clubs lose the fans

We all want our team to win. But if your side loses the midweek fixture, can you really be bothered to go on the weekend? I doubt many Manchester United fans will make the trip to Old Trafford for the next game after their recent display.

In truth, you're not going to get the real hardcore fans who sing and shout and get behind the team win or not at a 20:00 kick-off. You might get a few, but some will still be in the office or at home sat in front of their BT Sport subscription.

This is just another example of the lack care shown from those in charge towards the fans. If those in their swanky chairs and insulated boxes wanted the fans to sit on their plastic seats during the week, there would be a change.

I thought they wanted children to go?

You know the drill: Adults for a tenner, kids for free. Although this doesn't apply to the Premier League, the idea to bring your child to the football is something all parents dream of doing.

However, if the kids have school in the morning, are you really going to want to take your little one to a 20:00 kick-off on a Wednesday? Unlikely.

Club executives and Premier League PR representatives can promote the idea of inspiring the next generation all they want, but until they work to eradicate this kick-off time, their scripted preaches are nothing more than money-grabbing strategies.

Make it 7pm or nothing

20:00 is too late, simple. 7pm isn't ideal, but it's manageable. The one hour difference allows you to finish work and head straight to the game, rather than linger aimlessly until it's a decent time to head down to the ground.

The earlier time allows you to get back home before 11pm, rather than after midnight, which will mean you're then living off six hours sleep the next day.

In reality, a midweek game is never at the top of a football fans wish list, unless it's the Champions League. They are more hassle than pleasure, the trips are more forceful than desirable, the atmosphere is more 'plastic flags' than natural, and the games are more cautious than frantic.

It's time to make these midweek games at 7pm or nothing. For the adults, children, players, and everyone involved - other than those eating caviar in their boxes - it's only fair.


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