A New Saturday Kick-Off Time Will Be Introduced To The Premier League In 2019 And People Are Fuming

Starting from 2019/20, eight Premier League league games across the season will kick-off at 19:45 as part of a new package drawn up.

In 2015, Sky and BT claimed the bidding rights for the games, with £5.136bn being splashed out in the three-year season deal that commenced in 2016/17.

Sky paid £4.176bn to show 126 matches, while BT paid £960m for 42 games.

The current arrangement expires at the end of 2018/19 and the bidding for the next lot of games is reportedly set to begin in a couple of months.

More than 200 games are up for grabs from the 380 fixtures played, and as well as the usual slots of 12:30 on a Saturday, 17:30 on a Saturday and 16:00 on Sunday, eight 19:45 fixtures on Saturdays are part of the revamped package.

Back in September, news emerged that representatives from every top flight club were to meet up in London and one of the topics on the agenda was the possibility of adding a fourth kick-off slot for games that take place on Saturday.

A chairmen's meeting then took place and now 19:45 Saturday games in the Premier League will be a thing when the 2019/2020 campaign rolls around.

It's thought that a key factor in the decision to implement the new slot is because games will air at the same time as Saturday night programmes Strictly Come Dancing, Britain's Got Talent and X Factor, and league officials want to compete with two of UK TV's leading programmes.

We imagine this is how the majority of Premier League fans reacted when they heard the news. Image: PA

As there was when talk of Friday night games came about, there's already been a lot of backlash to the news - with plenty of fans voicing their opinions back in September when were just in the 'proposal' stage:

While it would bring that extra TV revenue into the English game, for Premier League clubs, downsides include giving fans more time in pubs and bars ahead of the game, likely making it more difficult for policing and sufficient safety measures to be put in place.

Moreover, the move to introduce another Saturday kick-off time would also bring about travel issues for fans. Imagine being a Newcastle fan and having to trek up to Bournemouth for a 7.45pm kick-off on a Saturday? Or vice-versa? It's less than ideal isn't it?

Thoughts on the new slot?

Sound off in the comments.

Josh Lawless

Josh is a writer who specialises in football and wrestling. He has been published by Curzon Ashton FC, Late Tackle, Manchester City FC, The Mirror, Read Man City and Manchester Evening News. He provides coverage of professional wrestling and has interviewed some of the biggest names in the field - including the first UK interview with The Hardy Boyz after their return to WWE. He has never sported a pair of Lonsdale Slip-ons, contrary to reports.

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