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Is the traditional Saturday 3pm kick-off outdated?

It’s official: television has finally taken over the Premier League, with the traditional 3pm Saturday kick-off all but a distant memory.

Of the seven league games Arsenal have played this season, just three of them have been at the once normal time of 3pm on a Saturday and this weekend our home clash with Sunderland is a 12 noon kick-off on Sunday.

And this weekend marks a sad watershed, with just one Premier League game kicking off at the traditional time - Atson Villa v West Ham.

Indeed, it would appear that the television authorities are pushing for Sunday to become the new day of choice for football in the top flight, as the only other Premier League game taking place this Saturday is the Manchester United v Wigan game (12.45pm). The BBC’s Match Of The Day should be a barrel of laughs, with only two games to cover.

Admittedly this weekend doesn’t exactly over excite your average fan, with arguably the pick of the games being Tottenham Hopeless travelling to Liverpool for what should be a spanking, but it makes me a little sad to think Saturday 3pm starts will become the exception rather than the norm.

Armchair fans will get the chance to tune into an entire afternoon of the beautiful game on Sunday, with our game against Sunderland live on Setanta Sports at mid-day, before Sky Sports 1 shows back-to-back coverage of Reading v Derby at 2pm and Fulham v Portsmouth at 4.10pm. I don’t think you’ll find me setting the video for the latter two, mind you.

Don’t get me wrong, sometimes a different weekend kick-off time can be a novelty. For instance, it can make me and the mates I meet feel rather civilised by meeting for lunch beforehand, or going for a bite to eat and the odd libation or two afterwards. But if that’s going to happen every week we’ll all be bankrupt by the end of the year, which is no use when you then have to fork out for a season ticket.

But maybe I’m just showing my age. After all, the whole reason football kicks off at 3pm dates back to the Factory Act allowed mill workers to finish early on Saturday afternoons, thus giving them time to watch and play football. And of course we don’t have many factories any more, so maybe this is just a sign of the times that we all have to accept and get used to.

What do you lot think? Do you care about kick-off times? Perhaps you think broadcasters have become too powerful in changing kick-off to entice armchair fans at the detriment of those who pay to go, home and away, to watch their teams? Share your thoughts here

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Posted by Gordon Masson on October 4, 2007 11:05 AM in Debate of the Day| News
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I hope they stick with 3 pm. The noon starts are brutally tough on us Yanks, who have to get up at 6 am to catch those matches (7 am here) at the local football pub.

Posted by: Clichy22 | October 4, 2007 1:10 PM

Clichy22 -

Agreed. Plus, its tough to enjoy a pint at 7 in the morning!

Posted by: Adam | October 4, 2007 2:06 PM

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