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Manchester City Fans Call Out FA’s Insufficient Response to Community Shield Kick-Off Time

Manchester City Fans Call Out FA’s Insufficient Response to Community Shield Kick-Off Time

Manchester City fans belonging to the 1894 group have criticized the Football Association (FA) for what they perceive as the organization “doing the bare minimum” in amending the kick-off time of the Community Shield match. While the FA and ITV adjusted the kick-off time from 5.30pm to 4pm, the 1894 group is demanding a further change to 3pm. They argue that the initial adjustment and subsequent PR releases were inadequate and that the opinions of fans, the most crucial stakeholders, were ignored. This blog delves into the ongoing concerns of Manchester City fans and their call for a more accommodating kick-off time.

The decision to move the kick-off time of the Community Shield match at Wembley between Manchester City and Arsenal from 5.30pm to 4pm was met with disappointment by the 1894 group, representing Manchester City fans. While the adjustment was seen as a step in the right direction, it did not go far enough for some supporters. The group is now urging the FA and ITV to bring the kick-off time forward by another hour, to 3pm.

In a statement issued through the Football Supporters’ Association (FSA), the 1894 group expressed their dissatisfaction with the FA’s handling of the matter. They accused the FA of doing the bare minimum and expecting praise for the decision. The group highlighted the lack of consultation with the most important stakeholders: the fans themselves. The FA claimed that the 4pm kick-off time was agreed upon after discussions with the police, local council, and ITV, but failed to involve the fans in the decision-making process.

Travel arrangements for matches at Wembley have been a longstanding concern for fans of north-west teams. Late kick-off times often leave supporters with limited time to catch the last trains back home, particularly with the existing railway schedules and the possibility of strikes and engineering works. The high costs associated with travel, as well as the inconvenience of arriving home late at night, further compound the issues faced by fans.

The 1894 group believes that a 3pm kick-off time would be fairer for fans, allowing more people to travel back at a reasonable hour. They argue that expecting 30,000 fans to make the journey back north late on a Sunday evening is unjust. While they acknowledge that a full boycott may not be feasible at this stage, they encourage fans to consider supporting local foodbanks instead of attending the match.

The 1894 group emphasizes the significance of fans and their ability to make a difference. They assert that, despite not expecting a complete boycott at this point, fans have the power to choose not to attend if they feel undervalued. This particular match, being the Community Shield, may not hold the same level of importance as the FA Cup final or the Champions League final. Therefore, the group argues that fans have the option to walk away and make their voices heard.

The statement concludes by highlighting the screening of the match organized by the 1894 group at the Band on the Wall venue in Manchester city centre. Proceeds from the event will be donated to local causes, underscoring the fans’ commitment to making a positive impact even in the face of an insufficient response from the FA.

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