Mansfield Town have changed the kick-off time of their game against Walsall on October 15 from 3pm to 1pm in response to the energy crisis.
The League Two club is the first in the EFL to take such a step. A survey conducted over the past two weeks by football reform group Fair Game found that 63% of 40 clubs surveyed – including 12 EFL teams – said they would consider earlier kickoffs to help cut energy bills.
Mansfield said in a statement: “The club is making efforts to mitigate the imminent significant increase in utility bills. As part of these efforts, the earlier start time will allow the club to determine whether significant savings can be made on the use of floodlights. and other energy costs.
“In addition, after the trial, with this change in kick-off time, the club will be able to better determine whether an earlier kick-off on a Saturday would affect the potential attendance.”
Several Mansfield supporters reacted negatively to the club’s tweet, pointing out that they or others would no longer be able to attend and in one case they had booked transport. On August 24, Mansfield moved their home game to Hartlepool, which was scheduled for Saturday, October 1, to a Friday-evening.
In the Fair Game survey, clubs generally rated their concerns about the cost of living crisis at seven out of ten, rising to more than eight out of ten among League Two teams. Sixty percent of the 40 clubs said they were considering halting ground improvement work due to the crisis, and 38% said they were preparing to review their non-playing staff budget.