Bolton chairman Gartside reveals lucrative Euro TV offers
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.
"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 supporters.
"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."