The sound of church bells chimed in protest at Aston Villa's home fixtures may soon be heard again as a local vicar fears that crowds of football fans could ruin his Easter programme.
Rev Andy Jolley, from Aston Parish Church, is calling on local police officers and television officials to ensure that two of the most well-attended games of the season are not arranged for religious days.
Villa's home game against West Bromwich Albion was scheduled for Saturday April 8, and Birmingham City the following week, which is Easter Saturday.
However, Sky TV has pencilled in a switch for the Albion fixture to midday on Psalm Sunday and the Blues game for midday on Easter Sunday.
The church congregation has perviously experienced problems getting to 10.45am services when games are scheduled to kick off at midday Sunday.
The vicar, who is also cochairman of the Aston Churches Together group, remained tight lipped on what form of protest the church would take if the games fell on Christian festival days.
However, in 1999 Rev Keith Sinclair hit the headlines after he rang the bells in protest during a Villa-Chelsea match on Psalm Sunday morning.
Rev Jolley refused to rule out whether he would take the same course of action, but hoped the situation would not be allowed to develop that far.
He said: "I hope this is sorted out for the sake of community relations. I am well aware that my predecessor had the church bells rang. That was not good for community relations with the club.
"Some of our congregation have come to services when Villa games are on and they have been turned back by the police because of the crowds. That is also not good community relations.
"I have taken a look at the fixtures and have seen what is coming up. The first thing I want to do is speak to people to prevent an issue.
"I represent 11 churches in the area, and none of us are very happy with these fixture problems."
Rev Jolley has written to West Midlands Police Assistant Chief Constable Anil Patani to urge him to ensure the fixtures are not switched from the Saturdays.
A local inspector has since telephoned the vicar and assured him that officers will deal with his concerns.
Aston Parish Church, which is also called St Peter and St Paul, is situated on Witton Lane only yards from Villa Park.
A spokesman for Sky Sports said: " The fixtures are arranged by a group of bodies including the league, local police forces and the football bodies.
"The decision to switch the games would not have been based solely on our need to screen them on television."