REVEALED: Why Manchester United will kick-off against Everton at 7pm on SUNDAY night after original Saturday lunchtime clash was moved due to Red Devils’ Europa League commitments
- Manchester United travel to Everton for an unusual kick-off time this weekend
- The match will start at 7pm, which is an unprecedented time to play on a Sunday
- Initially scheduled for Saturday lunchtime, the game was moved back by a day
- United travel to Cyprus midweek and need a longer break ahead of Everton trip
The reasons behind Manchester United and Everton’s unusual kick-off time of 7pm this Sunday have been revealed – with European football and TV broadcast rights to blame.
Questions were raised when it was announced that Erik ten Hag’s side would travel to Goodison Park late on a Sunday, which is rarely seen in the Premier League.
However, with the game initially scheduled for Saturday, it has been rescheduled as part the league’s new rules surrounding the 12.30pm kick-off and to ensure BT Sport and Sky Sports don’t show games at the same time.
Erik ten Hag’s Manchester United team will travel to Everton for a 7pm kick-off on Sunday
The Toffees will go into the game in good spirits having picked up consecutive league wins
BT Sport have the broadcast rights for the Premier League’s Saturday lunchtime kick-off, but once it was announced that that game would be Everton vs Manchester United, a decision was made to change it.
This is because Erik ten Hag’s side will be in Cyprus on Thursday as they face Omonia Nicosia in a Europa League group stage game – and therefore need more time to recover before travelling to Merseyside.
Premier League rules state that clubs playing in European competitions on either Wednesday or Thursday will not be eligible to play in the 12:30pm Saturday slot.
Teams competing in the Europa League always play on a Sunday, but United’s 7pm kick-off allows BT to show the game at a time which doesn’t clash with the day’s other televised matches.
Sky Sports will show Crystal Palace vs Leeds at 2pm, followed by Liverpool’s trip to Arsenal at 4.30pm.
United will continue their Europa League campaign with a trip to Cyprus on Thursday night
A late Sunday kick-off is common across Europe’s other leagues and could soon be something that English football fans are familiar with.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp was one of the first managers to raise concerns with the fixture scheduling back in 2020, when he claimed he wouldn’t ‘finish the season with 11 players’ if things didn’t change.
After the Reds’ game with Leicester two years ago, Klopp said: ‘I’m afraid to say but I think it (running out of steam) could happen not only to us but to other teams as well.
‘You (BT Sport) my special friends ask us to go on Saturday at 12.30pm, which is nearly a crime to be honest. It has nothing to do with the game tonight but congratulations for that.’
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp raised concerns over fixture scheduling in November 2020
Klopp continued: ‘It was never about us when I spoke about it. It’s about all the players, England players, players who play next summer in the European Championship.
‘But if you [Sky] don’t start talking to BT then we’re all done. Sky and BT have to talk because if we keep playing on Wednesday and then Saturday [at] 12:30pm, I’m not sure if we will finish the season with 11 players – all the top seven.’
Frank Lampard’s Everton will come into the game in good spirits after picking up consecutive league victories over West Ham and Southampton, while United will be looking to bounce back from their 6-3 derby loss to Manchester City.