Giggs and Becks united against early kick offs
DAVID Beckham and Ryan Giggs have added their voices to the
campaign against early kick-offs.
The two Manchester United stars have both complained that the
increasing tendency towards midday kick-offs is affecting the Reds'
form when they have played a tough European midweek game.
Their words come after United and Fulham fans stood together outside
Old Trafford on Saturday to kick off a new nationwide protest at the
move away from the traditional kick-off time of 3pm on a Saturday.
The fans staged a colourful demonstration on the main concourse, and
the Independent Manchester United Supporters Association handed out
5,000 black-and-white cards with the figure '3' on them to take inside
Pasta for breakfast
United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has already expressed his misgivings
about noon kick-offs that follow a Champions League game in midweek.
And England captain Beckham has weighed in to the argument, claiming
that they are responsible for some of the Reds' lacklustre Premiership
He said: "It's hard to know how we can beat Juventus and then
draw with Bolton, with all due respect to them.
"It's not an excuse, but 12 o'clock kick offs don't help. We're
playing a world-class team on the Wednesday and then coming back to
play on the Saturday morning.
"It's not easy to eat pasta at nine o'clock in the morning, I
know that much! That puts you off quite a lot. That's the thing the
players don't like."
Giggs has also spoken out on the matter, backing his manager's claim
that the lack of a Saturday lie-in is eating into the 72 hours of rest
recommended by fitness experts.
"It does affect you, just those few hours. You may not realise it
but it does," said Giggs. "We've played at midday about a
dozen times, which is too much. Other teams have had extra time and
extra days to recover from games."
Now the United fans, together with the Football Supporters' Federation
(FSF), plan to take their 3pm Sat campaign to Parliament next week.
The FSF is hoping to have one fan from all 92 league clubs at a
Westminster lobby on April 1 - and friendly MPs have already been
persuaded to introduce a debate on the matter to the House.
The campaign is also asking for a fairer distribution of television
money, and for one midweek evening to be declared "TV-free"
so that smaller clubs can stage games without seeing their gates cut
by the rival attraction of a Champions League game or another top