Football Should Be Played At Weekends! Kick-off Times Campaigning Logo Norway 2011

Norwegian fans fight for fan-friendly kick-off times.

In view of the announcement of the due date for the next TV deal for football broadcasting in Norway, supporters from across the country started a successful nation-wide campaign called “Fotballihelgen” (Football at the weekends!), calling for fan-friendly kick-off times in Norwegian football.

 

Although Norway seems like a small country, there are long distances to cover if you want to travel to away games of your team, the furthest being almost 2000km! For many years now, there have been fixtures on Monday nights in Norway, too, causing many problems for the fans who want to follow their team. It’s a problem many fans across Europe know only too well: in particular when matches are moved to Monday nights, many fans are left with expensive tickets without being able to get to the game at all.

Svejn Erik Rogsund Bakke, member of Klanen at Valerenga, and one of the initiators of the kick-off times campaign, argues: “These TV deals are being made at the cost of ruined club finances and decreasing numbers of spectators inside the stadia. We already had one club that went into bankruptcy because of this and we don’t want to see more clubs following this example. How can the clubs sell season tickets and fans plan their trips when we don’t know when the game is until three weeks before?”

Football matches in Norway are currently played over four days and at five different kick off times. Football supporters in some other countries might now laugh their heads off in view of their own situation with their fixture list at home. But just like in Norway or similar is what it was like in many of our home countries one day, too….

And the fan clubs from around Oslo decided to take action to prevent this situation from getting any worse. They sat down to find out what to do…and ended up starting the campaign “Fotballihelgen” to set the tone for the preservation of fan-friendly kick-off times in good time before the new TV rights deal which is due to be signed in 2013.

The fans’ demands are simple and clear - and very understandable, we find:

  • Less national league games live on TV
  • Eight week notice as a rule for scheduling of the matches (currently it’s three weeks)
  • All games should be played at weekends only.

Just as set out in the Our Game – Our Time Campaign of FSE on the topic in 2010, the Norwegian fans are also convinced that matches taking place solely at the weekends will put an end to the ongoing decrease in attendance figures over the past two years and consequently re-enhance the atmosphere inside the stadia and the attractiveness of football as a socio-cultural event for the masses in Norway.

More info on the Norwegian fans campaign is available in Norwegian via their website Fotballihelgen.no and their  Facebook page “Fotball skal spilles I helgen!(Football should be played at weekends!).

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