Mansfield Town changed the kick-off time against Walsall on October 15 from 3pm to 1pm in response to the power crunch.
The second-tier club is the first in the English Football League to make the move. A survey by reform group Fair Game over the past two weeks revealed that 63% of 40 clubs surveyed – including 12 teams from the Premier League – said they would consider starting early to help reduce energy bills.
“The club is seeking to mitigate the next significant increase in energy bills,” Mansfield said in a statement. “As part of these efforts, the early start time will enable the club to determine if significant savings can be made in the use of floodlights and other energy costs.”Read:Dolphins say Tua Tagovailoa will miss Jets game after concussion controversy | Miami Dolphins
“Furthermore, after experiencing this change in starting time, the club will be able to determine whether an early start on Saturday will have an impact on prospective attendance.”
Many Mansfield fans reacted negatively to the club’s tweet, indicating that they or others would not be able to attend and in one case booked transportation. On August 24, Mansfield moved its home game to Hartlepool, scheduled for Saturday, October 1, to Friday night.
In the Fair Game poll, clubs generally ranked their concerns about the cost of living crisis at seven out of 10, rising to more than eight out of 10 among League Two teams. Sixty per cent of the 40 clubs said they were considering stopping ground improvement work as a result of the crisis, and 38 per cent said they were preparing to consider budgets for non-participating staff.Read:Bruga has no feelings at Chelsea about Aubameyang’s rape despite Potter’s promotion