When sitting down to arrange which games I was going to cover for LoveRugbyLeague.com over on Gods own side of the pennines this weekend, I was somewhat suprised when I took a look at the fixture list.
Whilst there are plenty of games arranged for Friday night, and two on Saturday, there are no SuperLeague fixtures in the traditional Sunday afternoon slot.
Now I know that some clubs these days now play the majority of their home games on a Friday night as to minimise potential disruption from the forces that be (SKY), but are the clubs considering the fans when deciding when to play their fixtures? I live in Headingley, but as Leeds v Huddersfield is already covered this week by the esteemed Neil Baraclough, the boss at LoveRugbyLeague towers James Gordon asked if I could go to Hull KR and report on their home game with Wigan.
Now I would usually bite James’ hand off at the prospect of reporting on such a tasty looking fixture, which will no doubt be a great game. However, as I don’t finish my day job until 5.30pm on a Friday (getting home at 6.30pm), it would be nigh on impossible to make it over from Leeds to Hull in 90 minutes, on a Friday of all days!
And thats just from Leeds to Hull, what about all the Wigan fans who would have to travel an extra 60 miles each way on top of this, after a week at work? If this game was played on Sunday afternoon however, as has been the tradition in the UK since the early 1970’s then I would have been over in Humberside like a shot (ironically).
The same goes for the poor fans of Castleford – who travel to London to play Quins – and neither of these games are on SKY. Surely the crowds – and with it clubs finances – would be healthier if played on a Sunday afternoon?
At least some good has come of this predicament at least… I will get to watch a game from the ever entertaining Co-Operative Championships, and I hope a few other SuperLeague fans will feel compelled to follow suit!