Manchester United’s sixth Premier League fixture of the season has been changed following a special request.
United’s game with Aston Villa at Old Trafford has been moved from 3PM to a lunchtime 12.30PM kick off due to a gig at the nearby cricket ground.
Manchester band the Courteeners are playing a gig in the evening and to avoid crowd and traffic congestion the Trafford Council Safety Advisory Group requested the game be moved.
The club released the following statement:
“Our home match against Aston Villa on 25 September has been brought forward to a 12.30 BST kick-off, following a request from Trafford Council Safety Advisory Group to move the game due to the Courteeners concert at Lancashire Cricket Club, Emirates Old Trafford, on the same day.”
“This request was supported by Greater Manchester Police and TfGM to avoid significant crowd, traffic and operational issues locally.”
“We regret any disruption that this may cause around our supporters’ plans for the day.”
Despite kicking off earlier, the game will still not be televised as it will clash with Manchester City’s trip to Stamford Bridge to face Chelsea.
United were involved in another fixture change controversy centred around this weekend’s 3PM clash with Newcastle.
It was rumoured the game would be changed to allow Cristiano Ronaldo’s debut to be broadcast live in the UK.
Due to the 3PM blackout brought in in the 1960’s, 3PM games can not be broadcast live in order to preserve live fan attendance.
Ultimately BT Sport and Sky Sports decided not to request the game be moved, as the disruption to match going fans would have been too great.