New kick-off time unpopular with fans.
Monaco plays its first game of the 2012/2013 season at home on Monday 30th July, but even before the whistle blows, there's trouble in the stands. Fans of the French Ligue 2 club are complaining about new kick-off times for some of the Friday games, most of which are to start at 18:45. There are worries that the change will lead to lower attendance.
The new schedule is due to broadcasting agreements that are in place for the 4 coming seasons. Qatari sports channel beIN Sport has acquired 90% of television rights to the championship, and they've imposed the new time.
Many Monaco fans travel to the Principality from other towns in the region after work, and it will be difficult for them to get to the stadium in time for the early kick-off. Some say they'll have to take a half-day's leave in order to watch the Friday matches live, and fans of opposing teams traveling from further afield will have to take a full day off.
Unfortunately, football is now big business, with profits and shareholders calling the shots. Industry commentators say television broadcasting could contribute to raising the visibility of Ligue 2 and generating a larger audience. Television broadcasting fees are also a valuable source of income for the clubs.
Meanwhile preparation for next season has started with a training camp in Austria, where Monaco played a pre-season friendly against Wacker Innsbruck earlier this week. Tonight they face Dynamo Kiev, and there are hopes of a game with Newcastle United.
For a full list of AS Monaco FC's fixtures, visit the official website at: AS Monaco Football Club. Here's maBoum's list of the club's 2012/2013 home games for French division 2 (Ligue 2):