Fans furious over Stags' Armistice Day Centenary cup clash
Mansfield Town this week promised irate fans they would further mark the First World War Centenary on Sunday, 11th November after the club were forced to move their home FA Cup tie with Charlton to the most sensitive of days due to overseas TV coverage.
The Stags have suffered a backlash of criticism from supporters who wanted to be at emotional Armistice Centenary ceremonies that day rather than an FA Cup first round tie, which will kick off at 12.45pm.
Stags did stage a wreath-laying and Remembrance Day ceremony before Saturday’s 1-1 draw with MK Dons and a club spokesman said: “Overseas television has dictated the time and date for the club’s Emirates FA Cup first round tie at home to Charlton Athletic.
“It would have been preferential for the game to be scheduled other than Sunday, 11th November to allow supporters to commemorate in their own way the end of the First World War Centenary and in remembrance of all those who have served in conflicts since.
“As the club did with reverence last Saturday, we will again – in a similar way - mark the Armistice Centenary in our home match against Charlton for those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.”
However, Stags fan Craig Robertson said: “For many of us this is the FA selling its soul for a quick buck, only in this case it is the souls of the 908,371 who paid the ultimate price.
“This is the centenary of the end of World War One for God’s sake.
“There quite frankly should be no games whatsoever on this special day of remembrance.
“For those who think what makes it different to the 99th year or any other, well we’re sports people aren’t we, 100 is always special. We stand to clap 100 runs at cricket don’t we?
“The crowd applauds a 100 break in snooker don’t they etc etc? Oh and don’t the FA themselves give out a special golden cap to anyone who makes 100 appearances for them?
“Lest we forget. It would seem the FA have forgotten, and shame on them for it, pure shame.”
On social media Adamstags said: “Its pretty tasteless. With the greatest respect who cares about away TV when there’s something to be remembered here. It’s poor the clubs and the FA have allowed it to happen.
I Am Sparticus added: “At a time when the media bring up the subject of children not knowing enough about their history and how we as a nation are in danger of forgetting our heritage, the FA sell the remembrance of those who died for foreign money.
“The amount we are to receive? Probably 30 pieces of silver and no more.”
Amber Andy added: “That’s shameful. No game should be played at 12.45 on that special Sunday,” while Stags861 said: “As an ex-serviceman I know where my priorities lay. Some things are much more import than football.”
The FA has just begun a new six-season overseas broadcast rights deal for the FA Cup - reportedly worth £820m.
Marketing agency Pitch International will cover rights for western Europe, Middle East and North Africa, with IMG covering the rest of the world.
Both will then subcontract deals to broadcasters, while domestic rights will remain with the BBC and BT Sport.
FA chief executive Martin Glenn said the deal was ‘hugely significant”’.
The value of the overseas deal was undisclosed but Glenn said it would allow more investment in pitches, facilities and participation programmes.