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Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 September 2007, 13:48 GMT 14:48 UK
Fans blast lack of Saturday games
Premier League
A new top-flight record will be set on Saturday 6 October when just one Premier League match kicks off at the traditional 1500 BST time.

Only Aston Villa's home game against West Ham starts at 1500 BST, with one game starting at 1245 BST on Saturday and eight games taking place on Sunday.

"This is a matter of great concern," said Malcolm Clarke, chairman of the Football Supporters' Federation.

"It is extraordinary and it will be a dark weekend for football supporters."

Clarke added: "It's symbolic of the way things are going but the views of the match-going fan seem to be bottom of the list of priorities.

The Saturday three o'clock kick-off is a great tradition of English football

Sports Minister Gerry Sutcliffe

"We will certainly bring this up at our next meeting with the Premier League."

Manchester United v Wigan is the other game taking place of Saturday, 6 October but is kicking off at 1245 BST as it is being televised.

Three other matches are being televised on the Sunday, four have been switched because teams involved are playing in the Uefa Cup on the previous Thursday and Manchester City v Middlesbrough has been moved for policing reasons.

The City game was originally due to be played in the last week of the season but as their ground is the venue for the Uefa Cup final, Uefa asked the club to switch their Middlesbrough matches to play at the Riverside on the last weekend of the season.

As United are at home on Saturday, 6 October, City have to play on the Sunday.

A Premier League spokesman said: "It is a combination of factors - teams featuring in Europe, television games and policing issues.

MY SPORT: DEBATE

"We always try to give fans as much notice as possible as our research shows that if we do that, then they can make the appropriate travel arrangements."

Sports Minister Gerry Sutcliffe said fans' concerns had to be listened to.

"The Saturday three o'clock kick-off is a great tradition of English football and one that supporters, myself included, would like to see continue," said Sutcliffe.

"But I am sure fans whose clubs are competing in the Uefa Cup are happy to trade that off for a place in Europe.

"While TV rights have contributed to the success of the Premier League - money from which is now filtering down to lower league and community football - fans' concerns need to be listened to when fixtures schedules are drawn up."

Barclays Premier League Table
01 February 2010 22:00
    P GD PTS
1 Chelsea 23 38 54
2 Man Utd 24 36 53
3 Arsenal 24 32 49
4 Tottenham 24 20 42

5 Liverpool 24 16 41

6 Man City 22 14 41
7 Aston Villa 23 13 40
8 Birmingham 23 -1 34
9 Everton 23 -1 32
10 Blackburn 24 -15 28
11 Fulham 23 -2 27
12 Stoke 22 -7 26
13 Sunderland 23 -10 24
14 Wigan 22 -23 22
15 West Ham 23 -9 21
16 Bolton 22 -15 21
17 Wolverhampton 23 -21 21

18 Burnley 23 -23 20
19 Hull 23 -26 20
20 Portsmouth 22 -16 15

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