Football Supporters Europe, the pan-european group of supporters organisations of which the FSF is a member, is calling on fans from across the continent to take part in days of action against kick-off times in the run-up to the end of the season.
Late decisions to move games, unsuitable scheduling of long-distance fixtures on midweek nights and the power of the Sky monopoly in the UK are complaints that we regularly receive here in FSF Towers, so FSE’s campaign should be right up your street. We’ll let them give you the run-down on what’s being planned:
Do you like football games on Mondays at 9 pm or on Tuesdays at 5.30 pm? Do you have to take one or even more days off work frequently to watch your beloved team? Have you ever organised costly travel, but in the last moment the match was postponed by the professional league? Are you in favour of five different kick-off times for five matches for one match day?
Supporters that cheer for their teams inside the stadia all over Europe share the same experiences that very often make it extremely difficult, if not impossible, for them to follow their team due to kick-off times in modern football that were made mostly for TV but not for us, the fans.
Due to profitable contracts with professional leagues and clubs, TV-companies all over Europe have gained massive influence over match day schedules. Match days are spread over the entire week and scheduled at dates and times that make it almost impossible for big parts of both home and away fans to follow their team. Viewing figures, enough advertisement space for commercials and the tendency to show as many live games on TV as possible have become more important than the interests of supporters inside the stadia.
However, we know that the stadium atmosphere that WE create is part of this profitable football show on TV! We are not just part of the game. The fans inside the stadia are essential for the attractiveness and money-making in the game. At the same time, it is the fans that are very often prevented from attending and supporting their team by exactly those that usually benefit the most from them.
Their matchday-fixing procedures are largely contributing to a decreasing atmosphere and the exclusion of large sets of the often-quoted “lifeblood of football”, the fans.
It’s time that we speak up!
OUR GAME, OUR TIME!
Whether it is Sunday in one country or Saturday afternoon in the other,
• we as active, organised football fans want our games to be played at traditional kick-off times that enable the active, most passionate match going fans to support their team,
• we want match days to be fixed early enough in advance and for good so that travel can be prepared reliably, in time and at convenient costs,
• we call upon football governing bodies, clubs and TV companies, to consider the needs of supporters more important for the sustainable attractiveness of the game than short-term profit-making.
Raise your voice as football fans, hold up a banner, inform in your fanzines, make press releases, involve your whole stand or your stadium. Become active and join the European wide Action Days by using the slogan “Our Game, Our Time” on your banners and materials!
The 30 April – 16 May 2010 will be the (grande) finale of the season in most countries across Europe. So, make use of this time to make your point, and stand up for a change of the matchday fixing system in your country in future seasons!
Let’s join forces and blow the final whistle for kick-off times that are like a slap in the face for committed match-going fans…
..now! Together we can achieve more!
It is not necessary to sign up for the campaign in order to participate, because we want as many fans as possible to take part in the campaign that can consent to our core principles!
However, the more that support the campaign publicly, the more powerful it gets! We would therefore appreciate it if groups of fans who wish to participate would let us know about their commitment by sending an email containing:
The name of your club:
Your group name:
Contact information (email-address):
Link to website:
Please send this email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Once your involvement in the campaign has been registered, we will put the name of your fans’ group up on our list of participants on our website!