Friday, September 29, 2023

Why is Burnley vs Manchester United at 8pm on Saturday? Red Devils avoid igniting Premier League early kickoff row

Manchester United have been handed a boost with their next Premier League game against Burnley kicking off late this weekend.

The Red Devils are on a miserable run of form with a 3-1 loss to Brighton making it three defeats from four games domestically.

Man United are fighting on all four frontsGetty

Erik ten Hag’s side will look to get their Champions League campaign off to a winning start when they face Bayern Munich on Wednesday.

But United will then face a quick turnaround, with their Premier League trip to Burnley scheduled to take place just three days later.

Why is Burnley v Man United at 8pm?

This game was rescheduled for television purposes having been picked for broadcast by TNT Sports.

It was originally set to take place at 3pm the same day, but it wasn’t moved to TNT’s main slot, which is the Saturday 12.30pm kick-off.

That is because the Premier League agreed last season that clubs playing in Europe on Wednesday nights were not be expected to play in the early weekend fixture.

TNT’s compromise was to instead look at other kick-off times rather than forfeit its selected matches, such was the case when Manchester City beat Newcastle 1-0 last month days after winning the Super Cup.

And with United away in Munich on Wednesday, the only available slot to play Burnley on Saturday was 8pm.

Sky Sports occupy the 5:30pm slot and are screening Brentford against Everton, with TNT looking to maximise their viewers by avoiding a clash of games.

Man United have endured a difficult start to the seasonGetty

Andrew Georgiou, President of Sports at Discovery, told the Times: “We are happy to have the 12.30 kick-off that we purchased as part of the package but the reality is the clubs and the league have agreed that if there is a club playing in the Champions League on a Wednesday night they cannot play in the 12.30pm Saturday kick-off.

“At 12.30pm on the Saturday, it’s perfect for us, it’s our time slot. Unfortunately the Premier League and the clubs have agreed that if that happens it can’t start at 12.30pm so we have to find another slot.

“I don’t think we can be asked to change our picks. What we have to do is find out the best time-slot to accommodate the club’s needs and our needs in terms of which matches we pick.

“I don’t think we should be expected to change our picks on the basis of who is playing on a Wednesday night.”

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