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Football: Clubs fury at Hoddle timebomb.

THE 72 Nationwide League clubs are claiming pounds 1million compensation because Glenn Hoddle refuses to change an England kick-off time.

Hoddle says "the dietary needs" of his players mean that England must face Poland at three o'clock in a crunch Euro 2000 qualifier at Wembley on Saturday March 27.

At first the League clubs asked the FA to kick off at 5pm but that was vetoed by the police on safety grounds.

Then the clubs asked for a 1pm kick-off but Hoddle insisted that England's pre-match meal cannot be disturbed.

Now clubs like Tranmere (home to Crewe), Wycombe (home to Oldham), and Torquay (home to Hartlepool) have either to switch to Friday night or Sunday afternoon, or to attract horror attendances.

The Football League are planning a pounds 1million compensation claim.

On December 23 they sent a letter to all the clubs advising them that negotiations with the FA had broken down.

The letter stresses that the League have made "strongest protests" possible to the FA.

A League spokesman said: "We asked for the change because the League still regards Saturday afternoon at 3pm as the traditional time for watching football."

One of the grounds for the compensation claim will be the loss of revenue on the pools for fixtures moved away from Saturday afternoons.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Dec 26, 1998
Words:215
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