TV companies’ U-turn over Eurovision could harm Man Utd’s Europa League hopes

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Man Utd’sEuropa League final opponents Villarreal scored an early win on Monday after La Liga agreed to bring forward their final game of the season against Real Madrid – despite initially turning the request down to avoid a clash with the Eurovision Song Contest.

Villarreal were distraught after discovering their final league game was scheduled for next Sunday, which would have given them just three days to prepare for the Europa League final.

The Yellow Submarine are due to face Real Madrid on the final day of the season in a game that is pivotal to the La Liga title race.

Real are two points behind Atletico Madrid, who face Real Valladolid, and both matches must be held at the same time to ensure the integrity of the competition.

Villarreal approached La Liga chiefs last week about moving both matches to Saturday, with boss Unai Emery urging officials to give his side enough time to prepare for the clash with United.

La Liga initially rejected the request, leading Villarreal ace Dani Paejo to tweet: “Hopefully all Spanish football will row in the same direction because Villarreal is the only one who can win a European title and it has become clear that they will not help us.”

Club delegate Fernando Roig Negueroles claimed his side’s needs were being ignored by Spanish TV companies keen to avoid a clash between the final round of La Liga matches and Eurovision.

Eurovision is a huge pull for television audiences in Spain and often leads to intense jostling between clubs and organisers when it comes to scheduling.

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  • Thankfully for Villarreal, La Liga chiefs and TV bosses made a dramatic U-Turn on their initial decision, bringing the majority of games forward 24 hours.

    Real Madrid vs Villarreal and Real Valladolid vs Atletico Madrid will now take place at 17:00 BST on Saturday, three hours before the start of Eurovision.

    Villarreal will now have an extra day more than Man Utd to prepare for the final, with the Red Devils visiting Wolves at Molineux on Sunday afternoon.

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    • Manchester United FC
    • Europa League
    • Eurovision Song Contest
    • Champions League
    • Premier League
    • La Liga
    • Marcus Rashford
    • Unai Emery
    • Spain

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