Manchester United women are baffled after FA officials BLOCKED their bid to show their first WSL match at Old Trafford against West Ham, as the club complains of a ‘missed opportunity’ to reach a wider audience.
- Man United women were outraged by FA’s refusal to broadcast their clash against West Ham
- Casey Stoney’s side will take on the Hammers in the first WSL game at Old Trafford
- The club has made every effort to ensure that the match is broadcast widely
- The FA blocked United from showing the game for free on their MUTV service
- The only place to watch the game is on the red FA Player or BT Sport button
Manchester United officials are 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 side will take on West Ham at the Theater of Dreams during their debut at the iconic stadium. The club announced the symbolic move from their usual location in Leigh Sports Village after broadcasters BT Sport and the BBC made their choice. However, they expected some flexibility from the channels, which did not materialize.
Instead, the only place to watch the game – played on a weekend with no Premier League and Championship action – is via the FA Player or on BT Sport via the red button.
Man United women were stunned by the FA’s refusal to let Casey Stone’s side screen screen their WSL clash on Saturday
The team will play their first ever WSL match at Old Trafford against West Ham United
Sportsmail may reveal that United, at its own expense, has paid for multiple cameras and an outside broadcast team for the 11:30 am kick-off as the FA Player only uses one. They were concerned that a single camera operation would devalue the event.
With that gesture of goodwill in mind, United also asked the FA if they could screen the match for free on MUTV – meaning hundreds of thousands of people could tune in for a milestone for the sport.
However, that suggestion was met with an outright refusal, which has led to much confusion.
United have been left ‘amazed’ and frustrated after an ‘ideal missed opportunity’ to reach a much larger audience
The rules stipulate that clubs can broadcast a maximum of three matches on their own channels and United has already done so. Despite their request, no exception has been made. United declined to comment, but insiders said they were “surprised” at an alleged lack of cooperation.
“This is an ideal missed opportunity,” they explained.
“This is the biggest club in the country to make a statement on a weekend that there is no Premier League or championship football and we are letting the opportunity pass to get as many eyes as possible.”