During 1963 the Burnley chairman Bob Lord wrote in his autobiography that live coverage of matches would seriously damage and undermine attendances. He convinced fellow chairmen that televised matches on Saturday afternoons would have a negative effect on the crowd numbers attending football league matches elsewhere not being televised. This would in turn result in a reduction of the financial income for other clubs
When the BBC started to broadcast Match of the Day in 1964 he refused to have cameras at Turf Moor and maintained the ban for a further five years concerning the televising of matches from Burnley's ground.
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 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 -
- Women and young persons could only work from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. or – in winter, and subject to approval by a factory inspector 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.: since they were a allowed a total of 90 minutes breaks during the day, the maximum hours worked per day would be increased to 10.5hrs
- All work would end on Saturday at 2 p.m.
- The working week was extended by two hours from 58 to 60 hours
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.
Rev Walter Warr, curate of the Abbey Church, was an
early president of Abbey United.
The Church of St Andrew, Newmarket Road, otherwise known as the Abbey Church, in about 1865.