Why I am falling asleep to the A-League

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A-League games with late kick-off times are criminal.

An 8pm kick off in Brisbane, which is 9pm Sydney time, is too late for families both attending and watching their favourite franchises.

You watch football to be entertained, and we should still be awake and able to watch games at a convenient hour without finishing well into the evening.

While late fixtures are appealing for broadcasting schedules, the A-League and Fox Sports must ensure games are played at reasonable hours.

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So far this season, there have only been two encounters which have started past 8pm.

The recent A-League triple header on January 30 had its final game in Brisbane, due to kick off at 8.15pm local time (9.15pm AEDT).

Severe half-time weather not only delayed Sydney FC’s commanding 3-0 victory over Macarthur FC, but the Roar game as well.

Brisbane Roar’s 3-1 win over Adelaide United started at 8.40pm Brisbane time and did not finish until 10.40pm.

This delay was beyond a joke for frustrated fans, who were forced to wait for the Sky Blues to put the Bulls to bed.

Put aside the adverse weather and broadcast commitments, the fact the match was not due to finish until 10.15pm AEST is the issue itself.

For the 8,747 fans at Dolphin Stadium, who were already required to wait an extra 25 minutes for kick off, getting home this late via public transport is an extreme inconvenience.

For Brisbane fans who already have to make the trek out to Redcliffe, they will be sure to think twice about attending another Roar fixture if it is scheduled this late again.

This time slot is also irritating for both Roar and United fans watching at home, in particular for families with kids.

Without this audience tuning in, it reduces the already dwindling television ratings on Fox Sports.

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Viewership will continue to plummet with Perth Glory’s two upcoming home games due to start at 8.20pm AEST (9.20pm AEDT).

As these matches are scheduled for 6.20pm local time, it is not an issue for Glory fans, but both Macarthur and Melbourne City fans will suffer.

With both teams due to take on Glory in the coming weeks, fans back home will be tuning in at 9.20pm.

Fixtures finishing at 11.20pm are disgraceful and it can not keep happening.

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The schedule, which is progressively being produced due to COVID-19 implications, needs to factor in how inconvenient late games are for both fans watching live or from home.

Both Fox and the A-League need a wakeup call on the issue, because at the moment they have fallen asleep just like the rest of us.

Feature image credit: Supplied.

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Matthew Tsimpikas
Matthew Tsimpikas
Sports lover studying journalism at the Queensland University of Technology. Covering Brisbane Roar FC in the 2020/21 A-League and W-League.

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