The death of the Saturday 3pm kick-off for West Ham is the price to pay for progress if the Hammers make the Europa Conference League group stages.

They say in order to grow you have to suffer the growing pains.

And West Ham have certainly had a big growth spurt in the last two and a half years under David Moyes.

Olympique Lyon v West Ham United: Quarter Final Leg Two - UEFA Europa League
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For many football fans there is nothing like that buzz of a Saturday at the game and West Ham supporters are no different.

The matchday routine from when you wake-up on a Saturday morning through to meeting up with friends and family pre and post match and the buzz that fills the air – it all forms a big part of why we love the beautiful game.

Many feel that is simply not the same on a Sunday. The atmosphere at many Sunday games – not just at West Ham – is unquestionably different.

Even at our beloved old Upton Park that was the case.

West Ham United v Eintracht Frankfurt: Semi Final Leg One - UEFA Europa League
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Saturday 3pm kick-offs have more or less been the norm for West Ham most seasons given our lack of regular involvement in European competition down the years.

But back-to-back European campaigns will change that.

And the death of the Saturday 3pm kick-off for West Ham is the price of progress if the Hammers make the Europa Conference League group stages.

After last season’s amazing journey to the Europa League semi-finals, West Ham fans are hungry for more.

Photo by JEFF PACHOUD/AFP via Getty Images

Moyes’ side face a two-legged qualifier next month in order to make the Conference League group stage proper – the draw for which will be made on Tuesday.

Should West Ham manage to come through that – without the suspended Declan Rice for both legs and Moyes for the first – then it does have big consequences for our Premier League fixture schedule.

With a host of games already moved to different days and times for TV, West Ham media man Rob Pritchard took to Twitter to reveal progress to the Europa Conference League group stages would result in the Hammers having just ONE Saturday 3pm kick-off before the break for the World Cup in November.

Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images

And the only other Saturday 3pm kick-off currently in West Ham’s fixture list before the end of the year comes on New Year’s Eve – at home against Brentford.

“If we get through to the Europa Conference League group stage, we won’t have a Saturday 3pm game until at least Leicester City (H) on 12 November – that’s the last PL game before the World Cup break, and even then it could be moved for TV.”

It will not be welcomed by West Ham traditionalists.

But it seems this is the price of progress for the Hammers both in terms of the money the club makes from TV deals and competing in Europe.


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