Friday, January 27, 2006
Parry condemns FA Cup kick-off time
Liverpool chief executive Rick Parry has condemned the kick-off time of the Anfield club's Sunday evening FA Cup fourth-round tie at Portsmouth.
The game has been scheduled for TV at 6pm, and this follows Liverpool's third-round tie which was staged at 5.30pm on a Saturday evening.Parry claims such timings are unfair on the club's fans, and said in LiverpoolFC magazine: 'Once again, our fans find themselves with a difficult journey at an awkward time following the decision to play at 6pm on a Sunday evening.'To put it bluntly, the FA makes the decisions with no input from the clubs. When you sign up to take part in the competition, it's on the understanding that games may be moved to accommodate television commitments.'He added: 'It's just unfortunate that our supporters have been hit twice running. The same thing happened for the Luton game when Sky decided it should be played at 5.30 on a Saturday night.'This time it's the BBC making the switch. There is no dialogue with the competing clubs and I can understand why many fans will be frustrated by these kick-off times and the disruption they cause.'The Football Association insist the match has been scheduled to allow the FA Cup to reach 'the widest possible audience'.'In terms of process, once the draw has been made television companies decide which games they wish to broadcast and make suggestions as to when they would like games to kick off,' said an FA spokesman.'We consult with the home club and at all times the safety of spectators is of paramount importance, and home clubs will liaise with local authorities before kick-off times are confirmed.'We want the competition to reach the widest possible audience and TV coverage is a very important part of that, and we work with all our partners including clubs to find the best possible solution.'