Phil Gartside, the Bolton Wanderers chairman, has revealed he has turned down lucrative offers to televise the
club's Uefa Cup game with Sporting Lisbon on Thursday, because the kick-off time would not have suited supporters.
Bolton made club history by reaching the last 16 of the competition with 1-0 aggregate victory over Atletico
Madrid last month, and Gartside admitted he wanted to stay true to loyal fans whose support had been a major factor
behind the club's progress.
"On what will be another memorable night in the club's history, we want to make our fans the priority," Gartside
said. "We therefore needed to ensure that the match would kick off at a convenient time for the majority of
"We had one offer, which would have required us to kick off at 7pm. This would have left many people struggling to
arrive on time after work. Another broadcaster requested a kick off time of 8.45pm, which would have been too late
for the many younger supporters we have attracted to the game."
Bolton face Sporting at the Reebok on Thursday, before travelling to Lisbon for the second leg at the Jose Alvalade
Stadium on March 13.
Gareth Moores, the club's commercial director, admitted that he hoped the atmosphere at the Reebok would be just as
good as it had been against Atletico.
"That game was memorable, not only for the victory, but also the stunning atmosphere generated by a sell-out
crowd," Moores said. We wanted to ensure that we were able to put the supporters in a position where that
atmosphere can be replicated against Sporting. By kicking off at our traditional evening game time of 8pm, puts our
fans in a good position to do just that."