Finn Harps manager, Ollie Horgan
Finn Harps manager Ollie Horgan has hit out at RTÉ over the broadcaster’s decision to carry live television coverage of Saturday evening’s visit of Dundalk in the Airtricity Premier Division.
Horgan said it’s likely that Harps’ income from gate receipts from the fixture will be significantly down due to the live broadcast.
He also said the earlier kick-off time of 5pm on a Saturday evening will also be inconvenient for many home supporters.
The Harps boss (pictured) was also critical of the late notice given to the club of the change in the kick-off time.
The match was originally fixed for a 7.45pm kick-off but has been brought forward by almost three hours to accommodate RTÉ’s live coverage.
“They (RTÉ) need to realise that we have players who work on a Saturday,” Horgan said.
“So to give us just a week’s notice is not on. The club and the players deserve better than that.”
The expected drop in the attendance due to the game being shown live on RTÉ2 is also a concern for Horgan.
“We get no remuneration from a live game,” he said.
“You could say the club gets exposure from a live match, and that’s fair enough. But in truth, it hinders us more than anything.
“Bringing the game forward by three hours does nothing to help us. For the fans, a game at 5 o’clock on a Saturday evening is far from ideal.
“This could end up costing us financially and that’s something we just can’t afford at the present time.
“If you look on the plus side, there is a chance for local businesses or sponsors to get some exposure from this game. So if that's something that might be of interest to anyone out there, we'd be delighted to speak to them.”
Saturday night’s match is Harps’ penultimate home fixture of the season. They meet a Dundalk side who mathematically, are still capable of winning the league. However, anything less than a victory on Saturday night will mean the title will be Cork City’s.
Harps need the points themselves for very different reasons. The Donegal side are embroiled in a real battle for survival in the Premier Division and following back-to-back defeats against Sligo Rovers and Shamrock Rovers, they lie second from bottom in the table, three points from safety.
It could be another pivotal weekend in that relegation battle. Galway United, who lie two points ahead of Harps and one place above the relegation zone, are away to Bray Wanderers. St. Pat’s host Limerick while Sligo Rovers are at home to Bohemians.
Drogheda Utd, who were relegated last weekend, play Shamrock Rovers.
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