FA move Community Shield kick-off time after fans threatened boycott

 Manchester City supporters were unhappy with the original 5.30pm kick-off and have been organising a boycott, with fans donating to their club's food bank instead of buying match tickets

FA move Community Shield kick-off time after fans threatened boycott

The kick-off time for the Community Shield has been moved after Manchester City fans threatened to boycott the game.

The match between Premier League champions City and runners-up Arsenal had been earmarked for 5.30pm on Sunday, August 6, at the request of broadcasters ITV. However, following a fans' backlash, the game will now start at 4pm on the same day.

City supporters were unhappy at being expected to travel to Wembley for an early evening kick-off on a Sunday. City fan group ‘WeAre1894’ urged supporters not to attend the game in protest, saying in a statement: "1894 urge you to join us in boycotting the Community Shield game against Arsenal on August 6th.

“The 17:30 kick-off time presents significant travel challenges from Manchester, making it difficult for many loyal supporters to attend. It's time match-going fans were treated as a priority rather than an afterthought.

“By boycotting this fixture, we aim to send a strong message to the FA and ITV about the impact scheduling has on fans. Our collective absence from the stadium will demonstrate our discontent and advocate for fairer game times in the future.

“We understand the love and dedication you have for City, but we believe that our collective action will bring about positive change.

“We ask fans, who are in a position to do so, to make either a £10 donation, or the equivalent cost of a match ticket, to MCFC Foodbank or another local charity''.

The U-turn has been welcomed, with one fan saying: "Really good outcome but I am surprised given all of the other dodgy late kick-offs Northern teams have suffered over the last few years - we need to be serious about boycotting (as they were here) & perhaps we might be heard a bit more!"

Another said: "Why wasn’t full consideration taken in the first place? It’s baffling. Still not good enough, getting home at 12am before work Monday! You can GUARANTEE there will be a train strike. It’s a friendly! Play it on the Saturday! Every intention of boycotting still personally."

Some fans didn't think the change went far enough, with some calling for a Saturday 3pm kick-off.

One said: "Still not good enough. Should be Saturday 3pm. Think of the fans, not the TV companies...."

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