It’s been some time now, but you can never keep a good egg down and once again the Football Association have come to the fore. And the latest cunning plan from the game’s trusted custodians? Well, that’d be scrapping FA Cup replays. In trying to be seen to be doing something – nay anything – to try and improve England’s showing at the footballing top tables, smaller clubs take the hit.
Scrapping FA Cup replays?
The FA are, of course, in cahoots with the Premier League on this proposal. The intention here – it seems – is to reduce the fixture congestion that’s stopping the likes of Manchester United and Chelsea from winning European titles. Just remember, Exeter City are to blame if Liverpool naff up the Europa League; Boro’ are to blame for ballsing up Spurs’ Champions League push in 2012.
Maybe it’s a sad indictment on the way football has gone over the past 25 years since it was first invented by Sky, but the financial whacking that clubs down the pyramid take in trying to run a tight ship means that scrapping FA Cup replays will surely hurt. The reward for taking the big guns back to their place to meet their parents after a successful first date on home turf is a lucrative one.
It’s the first time we’ve ever agreed with a man from Shrewsbury.
If – for example – we’re drawn at home to Billy Big Bollards and there’s no such thing as a replay, do we switch the tie to make it as big an earner as we can? It’s a hypothetical question, though not rhetorical. Maybe you don’t switch; maybe you’ll hedge your bets on an unlikely win. But if you’re Middlespiddle United of the Bumpkin League Division 3a, what choice do you make? Or have?
And scrapping FA Cup replays is also designed to give England a much better chance of not letting the whole country down at the next major international tournament. Is there a direct cause-and-effect here? Is there not something to be said for the leading top flight clubs making their young English players feed off the U21 league and loan spells down the Football League here and there?
Tell us – have we got this one all wrong? Fixture congestion at our level is more about playing more games on pitches more prone to freezing and flooding. No, we’re not convinced by this latest FA/Premier League scheme to sort out the woes at the top. Maybe try something like Youth Hostelling With Chris Eubank or Monkey Tennis and work backwards from there…