Manchester United women baffled after FA officials BLOCK their bid to screen their first WSL game at Old Trafford against West Ham as the club lament a ‘missed opportunity’ to reach wider audiences
- Man United women angered by FA’s refusal to broadcast their clash against West Ham
- Casey Stoney’s side take on the Hammers in WSL opener at Old Trafford
- The club went to great lengths to ensure the match was widely broadcast
- The FA blocked United from showing the game on their MUTV service for free
- The only place to watch the game will be on the red FA Player or BT Sport button
Manchester United officials have been stunned after their plans to broadcast Saturday’s first Women’s Super League game at Old Trafford to the widest possible audience hit a bureaucratic brick wall.
Casey Stoney’s team take on West Ham at the Theater of Dreams, making their debut in the iconic stadium. The club have announced the symbolic change to their usual location in Leigh Sports Village after broadcasters BT Sport and the BBC made their pick. However, they expected some flexibility from the chains, which was not the case.
Instead, the only place to watch the game – which is played on a weekend without Premier League and Championship action – is through the FA Player or on BT Sport via the red button.
The Man United women were stunned by the FA’s refusal to let Casey Stone’s side screen their WSL clash on Saturday
The squad to play their first-ever WSL game at Old Trafford against West Ham United
Sports messaging may reveal that United, at their own expense, paid for multiple cameras and an outside broadcast team for the 11:30 a.m. kickoff as the FA player is only using one. They feared that a single camera operation would devalue the event.
With that goodwill gesture in mind, United also asked the FA if they could screen the game on MUTV for free – meaning hundreds of thousands of people could tune in to watch a historic occasion for the sport.
However, this suggestion was met with outright refusal, which caused a lot of confusion.
United have been left ‘astonished’ and are frustrated after ‘perfect missed opportunity’ to reach much larger audiences
The rules state that clubs can only broadcast a maximum of three games on their own channels and United has already done so. Despite their request, no exceptions were made. United declined to comment, but insiders said they were left “astonished” by a perceived lack of cooperation.
“This is an ideal missed opportunity,” they explained.
“They are the biggest club in the country making a statement on a weekend where there is no Premier League or Championship football and we are missing the opportunity to present it in front of as many eyes as possible. “