EFL meet about early kick-offs to cut energy costs as County's rivals poll fans

CHANGE? Bradford City have asked fans about shifting games forward in winter to save costs
CHANGE? Bradford City have asked fans about shifting games forward in winter to save costs

BRADFORD City have canvassed their fans about early kick-offs as EFL clubs meet to discuss ways to save energy over the winter months.

It has been mooted that League Two games could kick-off at 1pm rather than 3pm on Saturdays to cut costs.

Under the current regulations any change to the start time needs the thumbs-up from the away club as well as the hosts.

However, the Bantams, who have over 14,000 season ticket holders, asked for feedback from fans ahead of meeting with their EFL rivals.

Bradford chief executive Ryan Sparks said: “There is a lot of talk around this subject at the moment, and we have a meeting with our colleagues from across the EFL later this week where further discussion is expected.

“With that in mind, we want to gather feedback on the matter, as we would not make a change of this magnitude unless it was widely agreed upon by our supporters.

“While we are keen to explore ways to improve our sustainability over the winter months, matchday experience is, and always will be, paramount to our football club.”

County have already played at Bradford while they have a Tuesday night trip to Mansfield, who have already shifted their league encounter with Walsall to 1pm on Saturday, October 15.

“The club is endeavouring to mitigate the forthcoming, considerable increase in energy bills,” said the Stags.

“As part of these efforts, the earlier kick-off time will enable the club to discern whether significant savings can be made on floodlight usage and other energy costs.

“Moreover, following the trial of this change in kick-off time, the club will be able to better determine whether an earlier kick-off on a Saturday would have an affect on prospective attendances.”

A survey carried out by football reform group Fair Game revealed 63 per cent of 40 clubs polled – including 12 English Football League teams – said they would consider earlier kick-offs to help reduce energy bills.

- Newport County AFC's development team enjoyed a 2-0 win over AC London at Dragon Park on Wednesday afternoon.

Midfielder Josh Edwards, a recent recruit after being released by Swansea, hit the bar for the young Exiles midway through the first half.

Forward Tom Stokes, an unused substitute in the Carabao Cup wins against Luton and Portsmouth, and attacking midfielder Lewys Twamley, on loan at Cymru Premier Pontypridd, had efforts but it was goalless at the break.

A trialist put County in front from the penalty spot and Kiban Rai, who featured with the seniors in pre-season, secured the win in the closing stages.

- Former County star loanee Finn Azaz suffered disappointment on his Ireland Under-21s debut on Tuesday night.

The Aston Villa attacking midfielder, who is spending the season with League One Plymouth after shining with County last term, came on in the second half of the goalless draw with Israel in the play-offs for the European Under-21 Championships.

Azaz was denied by a good save towards the end of the 90 minutes the Irish went on to lose 3-1 on spot-kicks.