Manchester United fans slam Friday night kick-off in Brighton

Manchester United fans have hit out at the decision to move their match at Brighton to a 8pm kick-off on the Friday of the first May bank holiday.

Tuesday, 10th April 2018, 10:24 am
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 6:13 am
Action from Albion's FA Cup tie at Manchester United last month. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)

The game was moved from Saturday, May 5, to Friday, May 4, after it was selected for live television coverage on Sky Sports and means United supporters will have a 500-mile round trip on a working day.

Brighton fans were critical of television scheduling last month - calling it 'an absolute farce' - when their FA Cup quarter-final at Old Trafford kicked-off at 7.45pm on a Saturday evening.

So far 30 of United's domestic fixtures this season have been televised, with another six to come, while Albion games have moved day or time for live television coverage on 12 occasions, with two to come.

Manchester United have already travelled to Yeovil, in the FA Cup, on a Friday night this season and the Manchester United Supporters' Trust have criticised The FA over the change of day for the game at the Amex.

They said: "Expecting our loyal away supporters to travel over 250 miles in pre-bank holiday traffic shows either ignorance or contempt for the implications for fans that both our team and the broadcasters themselves rely on to create the atmosphere that is central to the game.

"We will continue to work with the Football Supporters' Federation and other supporter groups to press broadcasters and the Premier League to be much more responsive for next season’s TV selections, but if that is not forthcoming they may expect to see more active responses from fans as frustration grows over the issue."

United have sold out their ticket allocation of just over 3,000 for the match at the Amex but the Manchester United Supporters' Trust added: "We know of supporters who have chosen not to go, due to pricing, which is something the FA should be ashamed of given the income they receive from fans.

"None of this is good for atmosphere and the FA need to listen to fans and act as a watchdog to protect them."