Posted by on Tuesday, April 17, 2012 Under: Football
Remember when you used to get up on a bright morning on FA Cup final day in May, run some errands then get yourself back for 12 noon on the dot to watch the build up? It didn’t matter who was playing, it felt like a special occasion even if your team wasn’t competing. You felt happy for the fans walking up Wembley way and you felt great watching cup finals and classic moments of days gone by. Remember that? No, neither do I, I honestly can’t remember the last time I couldn’t wait to watch an FA Cup final.
The Premier League is a monster, the money that gets ploughed into the league from TV is staggering, but the FA doesn’t help matters when they play 2nd fiddle, pandering to every need of the corporate machine.
For me it all started when the new Wembley Stadium was built and the FA thought it best to play the semi-finals of the competition at the stadium. This marked the start of the process of watering down a cup competition older than most of the teams competing in it. Nothing brought this home more than when Liverpool played Everton last weekend at 12.30pm, presumably so it wouldn’t interrupt the various Premier League matches kicking off at 3pm the same afternoon. The same thing happened the following day when Chelsea and Spurs kicked off at 6pm, coincidentally straight after Manchester United played Aston Villa on Sky. To have the semi-finals at Wembley is a complete joke in itself, but then to expect 70,000 people from Merseyside to travel to London for an early kick-off beggars belief when there are perfectly good enough stadiums in the North West capable of staging such an event. Although in the defence of the FA, they were right to deny Chelsea’s request to play their game on the Friday, that wouldn’t have seemed right, but then again, nothing amazes me about football decisions any more.
OK, so the semi-finals situation is one thing, but surely the FA won’t mess with the jewel in the crown, the coveted FA Cup final? You would think they would fight tooth and nail to keep every single tradition to try and salvage whatever ounce of folklore the cup has left, but alas, a 5.15 kick off on the 5th May 2012 has confirmed supporters’ fears that the FA Cup is merely a poorer cousin to the echelons of England’s weekly club competition.
There could be a scenario where the winners of Liverpool and Chelsea this year will be parading the cup under the floodlights of Wembley Stadium rather that the setting of the evening sun. For me it’s a strange scenario and one that will be sad to see.
In : Football
Tags: the fa cup devaluing the fa cup
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