Chairman makes plea for more Saturday afternoon fixtures

The game against Pickering Town was a rare Saturday home game.
The game against Pickering Town was a rare Saturday home game.

Bridlington Town chairman Peter Smurthwaite believes it is not only Premier League clubs who are missing the days when games kicked off at 3pm on Saturdays.

The fixture list has given Town only nine Saturday home games in eight months up to the end of March, and the chairman said fans had expressed their dismay at the arrangements.

He said: “This creates quite a serious problem for our club with no income for these Saturdays and more Tuesday night games, which on average we have a 33% drop in attendances and revenue against the same fixtures on Saturdays.

“The other problem is fans are creatures of habit and have been brought up on football home games being played on alternate Saturdays. Midweek games usually compete, like last week with England v France on television and Champions League this Tuesday.

“I appreciate it is not easy with our ground share arrangements and cup competitions but when the fixtures were published at the start of the season our secretary did notify our league that there were several clashes of fixtures with Scarborough yet here we are halfway through the season with this issue still unresolved.

“We are at present awaiting an answer from our league to see if some of the games can be rescheduled for Saturday home games because we desperately need their assistance to help us generate the necessary income to operate a club at this level.

“We are not asking for any favours, we only want common sense to prevail because the league is very much about safeguarding member clubs where possible and not being rigid about fixtures problem.

“We always try and help other clubs with requests to change fixtures and the fact that we are a ground sharing club should not be to the detriment of our own fixture schedule.”

Town are at home to Albion Sports this Saturday, kick off 3pm, there are a further four Saturdays in the next few months when neither Bridlington nor their tenants Scarborough Athletic are at home.