So the FA decided to move a midweek game to 6 pm with two weeks notice, does anyone know and understand why they did it ?
You have to laugh at the FA statement :
“The derby game, which will be live on BT Sport, will start earlier to allow Arsenal fans to watch both their women’s and men’s teams, with Arsenal men facing West Bromwich Albion in a rescheduled game later that evening at 7.45pm.”
No one can go from Borehamwood to the Emirates 5 minutes. Even if you rent a chopper, you will be late at the Grove. The only way to be able to attend both games is to leave the Ladies game at half time and rush to the Emirates Stadium
Any fans leaving the Ladies game at full time will probably arrive at half-time for from the men’s game and won’t be allowed in. So despite the time change, the Arsenal fans are still forced to choose the game they want to watch.
The only fans who will be able to watch both games are the armchair fansie the tv viewers. I find it upsetting that the FA actually sees the TV viewers as a priority over the real fans who would attend the game.
There is no doubt that BT Sport will get a better viewing figure by putting the game at 6pm and therefore avoid overlapping with Sky Sports’ broadcast of the men’s game, but is it really what the FA WSL is about, having the best tv ratings ?
Pensioners, schoolchildren and people looking for a job. People who are working shifts as well are likely to be there at that time of the day. The other fans who could be there are the ones working from 9 to 5 and live locally around Borehamwood or those who will take an afternoon’s annual leave just to be able to watch the game.
So I guess the FA is banking on the population above to make a 1 000 supporters on the night. As the FA has set specific target for clubs to reach every season, Arsenal could be punished and could see the average attendance fall because of that stupid kick-off time.
Who gets left out by that kick-off time ? Those who work 9 to 5 and do not live around the Borehamwood area and will have to drive through the rush hours to the ground or use the public transports. That population is obviously not the core target fanbase for the FA WSL and thefore deemed disposable. The away and neutral fans are also likely to miss the game unless they belong to the target category who can make it on time.
When you consider how rubbish the 2016 FA WSL schedule is and is probably the worse from a bad bunch since the FA WSL started in 2011, you have to wonder why the FA decided to do something like this and upset fans even more.