Last weekend was the worst of the season for Asia-based fans of the English Premier League, no matter which club you support. The clocks went back in Britain last week and with it went the hopes of staying up to date with goings-on as they happen for millions of people across the region. Due to a combination of broadcast scheduling (Liverpool v Spurs) and being mediocre enough last season to end up in the Uefa Europa League (Manchester United and Arsenal) four of the so-called “big six” were in action in Sunday’s late games. Those games are now later still in Asian countries. While the latest kick-off in the stays at 4.30pm in the UK, thanks to their winter watch faces that is now 12.30am in Hong Kong and China – and later still for those from Seoul to Sydney. The clocks have moved back one hour in the UK, so all #PL kick-off times are GMT until next Spring ⏰ Lots of Premier League action coming pic.twitter.com/N5XJWdguFc — Premier League (@premierleague) October 27, 2019 That is too late for most, the extra hour an added psychological block to watching when you have to get up for work or school in the morning. The effect of the switch from British Summer Time to Daylight Savings Time–- or from Central European Time to DST if you prefer your football and time zones with a more continental flavour – on Uefa Champions League games is worse still. Kick-off has now shifted from 2.45am to 3.45am and any hopes of watching come at the cost of either the evening preceding the match by spending it in bed or the following day being spent being less productive than normal on account of not getting enough sleep. This midseason malaise may not last forever. As announced in March, the EU Parliament has agreed to put an end to changing the clocks from October 2021 by ending Daylight Savings Time. All well and good for the Uefa Champions League and the Europa League but the UK’s ongoing Brexit farrago means that much like Alex Ferguson at Manchester United they will be in control of the clock. That means the potential for more sleepless nights for those watching in Asia, unless the clubs who so flagrantly court fans there make their own rules. Europe’s biggest clubs and leagues have promised to take Asia (and to some extent the US) into account when it comes to kick-off times. Italian powerhouses Juventus were the latest to raise the issue. The Italian giants said that much in August ahead of the start of the season. The club’s chief revenue officer Giorgio Ricci called on Serie A bosses to consider moving away from matches kicking off in the evening to maximise eyeballs in Asia. In the first two weeks of the season no games kicked off before midnight Beijing time. Since then there has been one Saturday kick-off at 3pm local time (10pm Beijing) and one Sunday game at 12.30pm (7.30pm Beijing). Both the English Premier League and Spain’s La Liga usually hold more early matches over the weekend and that’s who Serie A is competing against. Back in the 1990s Italian football became a hit in the UK thanks to Sunday afternoon broadcasts – at a time when it was impossible to watch an English game on TV. Their clubs would like a return to that to win an audience further from home. It’s not just the English, Spanish and Italian top flights who are chasing China and its near neighbours. Bayern Munich’s retiring president Uli Hoeness can see a future where the German giants play earlier to maximise fan interest in China. The Bavarians are one of the most popular clubs in the country but Hoeness can see the “crazy demand” of mainland football fans increasing with a Chinese player “at some point”. “If we then probably play at two o’clock on Saturday so that we can broadcast live in prime time in Shanghai or Beijing,” he told German sports paper Blick last year. “Then 300 million Chinese will press on their iPhone and pay one euro each.” Are you a summer or winter baller? Let us know below! Clocks go back this weekend means one thing.. the @PremierLeague Merlin hi-vis hits the pitch https://t.co/dt7WTFg38n pic.twitter.com/LdhDshj5k6 — JD Football (@JDFootball) October 26, 2018 La Liga have chased that dream too. The Clasico game between Real Madrid and Barcelona in December 2017 kicked off 4.15pm local time (11.15pm Beijing time) on a Saturday. The league’s president Javier Tebas said at the time that they picked that slot from three options as it worked best for both Asia and the US, and he has indicated it won’t be the last. “We have changed kick-off schedules so that they can be seen at reasonable times here in Asia and we will continue to take steps to ensure that this part of the world can enjoy La Liga as much as possible,” he said at the opening of their office in Singapore. Don’t forget put your clocks back pic.twitter.com/8davEbxdqV — moelrick (@themoely) October 27, 2019 The English Premier League was considering even earlier kick-offs for games during the renegotiations for their last broadcast deal. Had that gone ahead then 22 live games could have seen those earliest kick-offs this season. As Asia becomes ever more important, that time will come. Until then it’s either phones off to avoid spoilers or it’s more late nights to make sure we don’t miss out on drama such as Manchester United in Paris or Liverpool’s comeback against Barcelona. Fingers crossed that your boss is a football fan, too.