Arsenal supporters are furious that their FA Cup quarter-final against Manchester United at Old Trafford has been scheduled for a Monday night and have accused the Football Association of damaging the competition.

The scheduling decision, in order to show it live on BBC One, has left Arsenal fans unable to catch trains back to London after the game, which kicks off at 7:45pm on March 9.

They are angry that the demands of the television companies have been pandered to by the FA at their expense.

Arsenal Supporters' Trust spokesman Tim Payton said: ‘One of the magic things of the FA Cup is the large away fan allocation but the Football Association are damaging their own competition. They are sullying the brand of the cup.

‘The football authorities need to explain why with four quarter-finals we can’t play two on Saturday and two on Sunday.

‘This is another example of broadcasters and their money dictating to the inconvenience of fans. Broadcasters should remember, without fans at the ground there would be no atmosphere for them to show.’

Arsenal are working with Virgin Trains, who provide the service between London and Manchester, and exploring their options to help supporters get back after the match.

As it stands, they would have to leave at half-time to catch the last train back and could then still find the London Underground services have stopped.

Arsenal Supporters' Trust are demanding that the club and the FA help to cut their costs.

Payton added: ’We are calling on the FA and Arsenal to subsidise travel to the game and have reasonably-priced match tickets.

‘We are already working with other Arsenal fan groups on the issue of broadcasted games. With £5billion about to flow into football it really is time that fans are put first.’

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