The pilot Friday Night Football games were played tonight at Firhill and Pittodrie, and from a fans perspective it looks as though the idea has caught on for now. Over 11,000 fans watched both games which saw nine goals scored, five for Partick Thistle and four for Aberdeen in their respective games.
Firhill saw Thistle’s biggest league crowd of the season as 3,380 fans turned out to watch Partick Thistle beat Division One league leaders Morton 5-0, despite torrential rain trying to put a dampener on the proceedings.
While Pittodrie saw 8,333 fans cheer Aberdeen onto a 4-0 victory over Dunfermline in the SPL. It was the third biggest home crowd of the season for Craig Brown’s Dons side, despite not picking up a single win in their last five games.
The first time such an experiment takes place many turn out for the novelty factor, and while the two games saw bumper crowds walk through the turnstiles, such novelties usually wear off sooner or later.
It is not only up to the clubs, but also the SPL and the SFL to keep the fans coming back for more. One major issue that transpired in regards to tonight’s games, were the 500 Dunfermline fans having to travel around 110 miles north to Aberdeen on a Friday night. There have been calls for Friday Night games to be played between sides that are close-by one another, for example: St.Johnstone v Dunfermline, St.Mirren v Kilmarnock, St.Johnstone v Dundee United etc and the travel aspect for fans must be taken into consideration.
We know that no such games will involve Celtic or Rangers, no matter if they are home or away that weekend, their games will stick to a Saturday or Sunday. But one thing is a must for the fans to keep coming back to games on a Friday night – a ban of TV coverage of said games, in my opinion.
Banning TV cameras from covering Friday Night games will – for the most part – attract the fans to get off their arm chairs and take in the game. It may prevent the clubs from cashing in on some TV revenue, but whats that compared to more fans coming to the games, spending money not only on tickets, but merchandise and food also. Not to mention a new generation of fans attracted to the game, through other initiatives that could be run in parallel.
The next few test games will continue to provide a novelty for the football fans, but it is a must that all those involved from the clubs to the governing bodies, think of the fans first. It’s a wacky idea, something that has not been done in recent years, but the clubs and the league bodies should listen to what the fans think and want, then maybe just maybe we can give Scottish Football a kick in the right direction. However if nothing is done, the experiment will be another in a long line of failed attempts to reboot the Scottish game.
We want your views on Friday Night Football, please cast your vote below and also leave a comment.
Will the Friday Night Football experiment be a success?
- No (38%, 135 Votes)
- Yes (34%, 123 Votes)
- Too Early to Call (24%, 86 Votes)
- Maybe (4%, 15 Votes)
Total Voters: 359