A spokesperson for the Manchester United Supporters’ Trust told Telegraph Sport: “Sadly match-going supporters are all too used to the fact that we seem to be the last people considered when kick-off times are determined.

“For the fourth time this season, United are away from home at 8pm on a Saturday which just goes to show the blatant disregard the TV companies and football authorities have for match-going fans.

“During Covid they said that football without fans is nothing – it’s time for the football authorities to show they meant it.”

A survey of over 17,000 season ticket holders and members this month by The 1958, another United fans’ group, found that almost 95 per cent of supporters did not feel their voice was being heard or that they were receiving the right level of representation.

“The recent fixture changes for Brentford and Chelsea are just further evidence of the disdain shown for travelling match going fans in search of greed,” the 1958 said in a statement.

“Our recent survey results support this with over 17,000 match-going Reds taking part. It’s also a condemning indictment of the lack of real representation fans have. This will change and needs to change.”

Saturday’s controversial kick-off time could present even more headaches for the disabled supporters planning to attend the game. Chas Banks, secretary of the Manchester United Disabled Supporters’ Association, claimed it was the latest example of the authorities “screwing” over fans.

‘It feels like they are doing damnedest to stop disabled fans from watching’

“I don’t travel to away games anymore,” Banks told Telegraph Sport. “After years watching United home and away, it all became too much as the years passed – I’m in my 70s now and a disabled wheelchair user – and the football authorities clearly didn’t give a flying one about the problems it causes to fans when they schedule kick-offs at crazy times.

“They sit safe in the knowledge that whatever bonkers changes they made to the fixture list, the United away supporters would find a way to get there somehow.

“The scheduled kick-off changes seem even crazier if, like me, it takes three hours to get from your bed to actually leaving the house to begin your journey. As time has passed it really did start to feel like they were doing their absolute damnedest to stop me and other disabled United fans from watching my club playing away from home.”

Banks said the 8pm kick-off against Brentford would hit fans even harder given there are no trains running.

“It’s just become the norm now for the TV companies to do whatever they want,” he said. “If they want Newcastle to play away at Fulham with a 12.30pm kick-off, they’ll do it.

“No one stops to think for a minute about the impact the changes make on the fans. It wouldn’t be as bad if the railways worked but they are part of the problem, not the solution.

“Us older fans keep waiting for the bubble to burst, but I’m struggling to see any sign of that happening and as long as the fans keep turning up, the authorities will keep screwing them.”

The Football Supporters’ Association (FSA) are thought to fear that such a situation will continue to persist in the future.

The FSA have successfully campaigned in the past on issues around away ticket prices and safe standing.

But it has proven harder to get a critical mass of supporters behind the problem of kick-off times given it does not affect all away fans all the time.

It is understood the FSA are campaigning to get travel costs reimbursed for away fans who have booked travel only for a game to be moved for a second time at short notice.

Move to end tragedy chanting

Meanwhile, the United and Liverpool Foundations have joined forces to deliver an education programme aimed at ending the tragedy chanting that has marred fixtures between the sides.

Two United fans were arrested in connection with tragedy chanting during the 4-3 FA Cup win over Liverpool at Old Trafford this month.

With the teams due to meet again in the Premier League at Anfield on April 7, the two foundations invited schoolchildren from Manchester and Liverpool to Lord Derby School in Huyton for an afternoon learning about the impact the Hillsborough and Munich disasters have had on the two clubs, their fans and the cities.

Wes Brown and Phil Thompson, the former United and Liverpool players respectively, joined the session and spoke with students. The two foundations are developing a programme in partnership with the Premier League and plan to make it an annual part of their engagement.

At the same time, both clubs remain fully committed to stamping out such behaviour in stadiums and online.

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