No legal ruling was ever put in place regarding the decision to prevent televised football on a Saturday at 3pm, but the footballing blackout was put in place and until now the Football Association, the Premier League and the Football League have all continued with it. This is known as the Saturday Blackout. The Premier League has agreed for the 3pm blackout to be lifted for the remainder of the 2019/2020 season due to the corona virus outbreak.
Have you ever asked yourself why football matches kick off at 3pm on a Saturday. What is the history behind that time? Why have spectators and players throughout time attended matches then?
The answer goes back to the nineteenth century when the Factory Act 1850 was introduced and most importantly a restriction and reduction of Saturday working hours. Factories would not be able to any longer keep their staff any later than 2pm.
The recreational weekend afternoon had began. This meant workers would need to find a way of spending their spare time.
Some of the changes it introduced in the Factory Act are shown below -
More free time on Saturday's meant that workers would start turning to drinking establishments on their free afternoons. This in turn led to churches to start forming football, athletic and sporting clubs to provide workers the opportunity of taking part in healthier activities.
By starting football matches at 3pm would allow enough time for participants to leave work at 2pm and reach the location where the matches would take place. It would also allow for matches to be completed in daylight during the winter months
The popularity of football continued to rise throughout the end of 19th and beginning of the twentieth centuries with many teams starting up through other institutions, factories, public schools and military establishments,
The creation of Abbey United can be linked to the increasing number of workers required to work in the brick works which were growing up in the Barnwell area. It can also be linked to the local churches and the need to fill the workers recreational time during the early twentieth century with healthy activities.
Happy Harry's blog
I'm the living embodiment of the spirit of the U's, and I'll be blogging whenever I've got news for you, as long as I don't miss my tea.