10:00AM, Friday 03 July 2020
Jon Underwood expects fans will be able to watch the Rebels clash with Dartford on July 18/19, even if BT Sport decides not to cover the contest.
Clubs in the National League North and South are still waiting for official confirmation of when their first matches will take place, with the potential for matches to be moved back a day to accommodate TV coverage.
However, Underwood is anticipating the Rebels game against Dartford at Arbour Park will kick off at 3pm on Saturday, July 18. If, as expected the game isn’t on BT, he thinks FC Video will stream the game live on Youtube so fans shouldn’t miss out on the biggest game of Slough’s season so far.
BT Sport has now confirmed it will broadcast the National League final – due to take place at Wembley Stadium on Sunday, August 2 (3pm) as well as the other four National League play-off games, however, no decision has been taken on the matches in the North and South leagues.
“There is a meeting at 4pm today (Thursday) with the National League and all the clubs to discuss TV,” said Underwood. “That’s what they’re waiting on. My understanding is there could be some games on BT. Certainly the league above us will be on TV.
“There is talk of the semi-finals and final in our league being on TV but maybe not the first games. That’s why they’re still saying July 18 or 19. At the moment we’re thinking it’s going to be at 3pm on Saturday, July 18 but that might change if TV is involved.
“Of course you want to know when the game will be on but it won’t affect our plans too much, and I think if the reasons are that they’re exploring TV coverage then that’s a good enough reason to hold off confirming that.
“All the clubs are doing their own fundraising for these matches at the minute, but it would be a real boost if that happened (BT Sport coverage). Our initial thoughts though are not financial ones. We want to enable our fans to watch this game because they’re potentially missing out on what are always the biggest games of the season. I believe if the Dartford game isn’t on BT Sport there are plans in place to get FC Video to stream it on Youtube. Once we know the decision with BT then, as a club, we’ll make a decision and make that announcement. But I’m pretty sure the fans will have a way of watching the game.”
Rebels fans have also been contributing to a GoFundMe page set up to help the club cover the costs of COVID-19 and preparing Arbour Park to put on the match. With more than two weeks to go before the game against Dartford the total already stands at nearly £10,000. Underwood added the fundraising support was expected but greatly appreciated.
“It’s been brilliant and we’ve had some generous donations,” added Underwood. “But even the £5 donations add up if enough people do them. It’s very much appreciated because we know these are tough times for everyone. Everyone’s situation is different and there’s no expectation for our fans to support us, but we’ve put this in place and have been really pleased with the response.”
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