Sheffield United and Charlton Athletic have both expressed reservations about the scheduling of next month’s FA Cup quarter-final at Bramall Lane, The Star understands.
The decision to start March 9th’s contest at midday, rather than later in the afternoon, has angered supporters with followers of Chris Powell’s side particularly inconvenienced by its timing.
Although neither United, nor their counterparts at The Valley, have commented publicly on the matter, privately this newspaper has learnt they sympathise with those concerns after petitioning for a kick-off time which enabled those travelling from the capital to use public transport.
However, pressure from a number of other interested parties, including safety chiefs, meant those calls fell on deaf ears.
Nigel Clough, whose side are battling to become the first third tier team to reach the last four of the competition since Wycombe Wanderers in 2001, hopes his players will enjoy a season’s best crowd when the match, which is being screened live by BT Sport, takes place.
United, who enter tomorrow’s game at MK Dons searching for a seventh successive win, have so far banked an estimated £382,5000 in prize money after dispatching the likes of Aston Villa, Fulham and Nottingham Forest en route to their meeting with Athletic.
The visitors, who overcame Sheffield Wednesday in the previous round, are 22nd in the Championship after beating Queens Park Rangers last weekend.
Tickets for the fixture, priced £20 (adults), £15 (season ticket holders and concessions) and £5 (under-16’s), are now on sale at the United box office or via www.sufc.talent-sport.co.uk