Death of the 3pm Saturday kick-off
TRADITIONALISTS should savour Everton's latest tie with a scandalised Midlands club. The match at St Andrews tomorrow, vital for both Everton and Birmingham City for different reasons, is the last that we will play on a Saturday until next season.
We've already had the Chelsea match at Goodison moved to a Thursday and now the Arsenal game at the Emirates has been shifted to half past one on a Sunday. Which is all well and good if you only watch games on the telly, but a bit of a pain for those crazy people who actually like to turn up and watch the match as God intended.
Avram Grant and Chelsea are understandably indignant. Fair play to them though for their gesture towards their fans: paying for their tickets and their transport to the game. It will be interesting to see if that will result in them actually filling their end for a change.
The argument made in favour against these continual changes is that English football has benefited greatly from television money.
The thing is though, is that actually true? Who has actually benefited from the television money? It's certainly not the fans. And as for the product on show, is the football really significantly better? Because for every Arsenal or Manchester United playing great stuff there are at least four or five dour, sides whose only goal is survival every season.
No, the only people who seem to really benefit are the players, getting millions of pounds per season when everyone knows that if their wages were cut not one of them would walk away to a better job.
Unfortunately though, complaining about kick-off times have been to no avail, and if anything the scheduling of the Everton versus Chelsea match would indicate that things are only set to get worse.