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The Met Police will force the FA to bring forward the kick-off time of next month’s FA Cup final between Manchester City and Manchester United due to safety concerns. 

Mail Sport has learned that the police have classed the first ever all-Manchester derby Cup final on 3 June as a high-risk fixture and are refusing to sanction the FA’s preferred 5:30pm kick-off time.

The police ruling has left the FA facing potentially fraught negotiations with their broadcast partners, ITV and BBC, as well as officials from racing. 

The logistical problems caused by police concerns have been exacerbated by a potential clash with the Derby at Epsom, which the Jockey Club have listed as being run at 4:30pm, but may now be brought forward.

The impact of the clash has been worsened by the fact that both events are due to be televised by ITV, who would ideally schedule both of them in the late afternoon with a significant gap between the two in order to maximise the audience size and do justice to both.

To compound matters further the BBC also hold live rights for the FA Cup final so will also have to agree to the kick-off time.


The FA have no option but to follow police advice, who have moved to clamp down on late kick-offs at Wembley following the violence that marred England’s European Championship defeat to Italy two year ago. 

Last weekend’s semi-finals kicked off at 4:45pm and 4:30pm and while further talks will take place this week the police have made it clear that 4:45pm is the latest time they will tolerate.


The FA will also hold discussions with ITV, who find themselves in the difficult position of trying to keep two of their major partners happy.

Jockey Club officials have indicated privately that they would be amenable to running the Derby earlier in the card at Epsom so that both events can be shown on ITV1.


It is the first such clash of the two events, with the FA Cup final being staged in June for the first time due to the disruption caused by the mid-season World Cup.

Source: Sports Village Square

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