The FA have devalued the magic of the FA Cup for money

The FA Show Their True Colours In The Cup by Dan Smith

I have written before that the sensitivity in which football handles (or does not) this Pandemic could push away supporters. As much as we love the Sport, it’s hard to turn the other cheek when the UK is recording record daily deaths due to Covid, yet the likes of Jose Mourinho is complaining how fixtures being postponed is unfair on his team.

Just think about.

In the last 12 months, people have died, isolated from families and friends, hospitals stretched, jobs lost…. yet we have managers whose biggest complaint is that maybe their players have to play three games in a week!

That is quite sick when you think about it?

As much as the government claim it’s for the public’s escapism, football hasn’t been postponed simply because there are clubs who can’t afford for that happen.

Of course there are other companies in the same position, but with the Premiership being one of England’s most lucrative brands, parliament are finding loopholes to their own rules to allow matches to go ahead (even with individuals breaking protocol to help spread the virus).

Up to this weekend, clubs, authorities, governing bodies, etc, all at least pretended this was happening with the average man and woman in the street in mind. Without question, at a time when people are losing so much, some will appreciate the comfort of the game.

Yet this weekend, those in power showed their true colours.

In this ‘new normal’ we have to accept that teams might have an outbreak of coronavirus. If the FA wanted to, they could make a rule, that if a first team have to go into isolation, that’s obvious grounds for postponing their tie.

Yet we got mixed results.

Shrewsbury vs Southampton was called off, yet Aston Villa and Derby did still play, choosing to send out their youth teams.

Who exactly benefits from those games not being postponed?

TV companies would have lost viewers the moment it was clear neither tie would be a competitive contest, it further tarnished the reputation of the competition and what happened about ‘escapism’ for supporters?

If I was a Villa fan, I would have been looking forward to a Friday night clash with the Champions. I would be dreaming of a Cup run, Wembley, a trophy.

Yet the FA just shrugged their shoulders and allowed clubs to handle outbreaks however they wanted. Instead of protecting my favourite weekend of the season, they didn’t care because they got their money off the networks and sponsors regardless.

I don’t feel sorry for these clubs either.

Villa and Derby never asked for cancellation, in fact both were adamant they would rather play their kids then have a hectic schedule.


What has this game come to when professional athletes would rather get knocked out of a tournament so they could have more of a rest? If I was a Villa fan, I be fuming that my club has essentially given up on silverware.

I would want a Jack Grealish banging on his bosses door saying he wants to win things, please just cancel the tie and wait.

A Roy Keane or Tony Adams wouldn’t accept sacrificing a medal just so it avoided their League run-in being backlogged.

The answer? Once again…. money!

There’s not a lot of cash to be made winning the cup compared to finishing a couple of places higher in your League. Hence why some owners make it clear they don’t care about a Cup run.

Put it like this. If the situation hasn’t improved at Villa Park by midweek, they won’t be jeopardizing League points by agreeing for their teenagers to play against Spurs.

Give a fan a choice.

Sacrifice the Cup to finish 9th? Or win the cup at the expense of a fixture pile up which could result in finishing a few places lower in the table?

Those in charge should do everything in their power to protect the integrity of any competition. Where possible all participants should be treated the same. Which team advances shouldn’t come down to which areas of the country has outbreaks of the virus or not?

There’s even talk that the next round of the Women’s FA Cup could be decided by a coin toss.
How can we preach equality within the sport when we would belittle the women’s game in such a manner?

If the pandemic is so bad you feel the only way to decide a tie is by flipping a coin, then surely at that point you’re not doing this for the fans, players or even the club’s benefit?
Or is the only thing that matters to the FA money?

That’s a rhetorical question…

Be Kind In The Comments



  1. Football will always be about money that’s a sure thing in life .
    How desperate are they to make money though will show in the next 3-4 weeks when we should be calling for break to help with this pandemic but the Authorities that are in charge will no doubt have different ideas .
    Mind you clubs aren’t much better in this regard.

      1. I should have said this Wednesday even though Chelsea due to play Fulham Friday, which I admit seems odd but it was on TalkSport so must be true😜

        1. Oops we are both right lol…..
          PL confirm Tottenham will now play Fulham in rearranged fixture on Wednesday after Villa game is postponed. Villa requested postponement due to Covid outbreak. Fulham v Chelsea now takes place on Sat 16 Jan, Everton v Villa moved back to Sun 17 Jan.

          1. 13 first team players at Celtic self isolating include manager ,but game against Hibs goes ahead 🤔

  2. The devaluation of the FA cup was started by Man U in 2000 (while Roy Keane was captain by the way) and has continued to this day. I still love it but it has very little international and sometimes even domestic presence compared to the days when the Wembley final was one of the most viewed matches in the world.
    I blame Ferguson 100% for starting the rot.

        1. Saved me an explanation there Declan. It was outrageous of Fergie and Arsene begged him to change his mind. And as I remember it United did not win a single game in that particular competion did they.

          1. I remember some sort of that competition during that time. If I recall correctly (the games were not televised we followed in the papers) the European teams were no match for Brazilian teams. I remember Vasco da Gama and Corinthians. I maybe mistaken though.

  3. An excellent and true article that goes into the whole ethics (or not) of playing during this pandemic. I argued nine months ago, when deaths were lower than currently, that it is a disgrace to play in these circumstances.
    I was shot down in no uncertain manner by some, and notably by Ad Martin, on this very site.


    I chose to accept the status quo – I would accept in hypocritical way too – rather than continue trying, in vain, to combat the incoming tide.

    NB: the chance of Villa being even allowed to use youth players against Spurs, seems to me to be outlawed by the PREM leagues own squad quota that would probably not include enough younger players, to even field a youth based team.

    1. It used to be that an FA cup game would put thousands on the attendance.My first ever game was in 77 against Coventry in the cup in front of 40,000 fans when an equivalent league fixture against them would be lucky to get to 20,000.Now the earlier rounds pre pandemic takes thousands off the attendance with the club’s in the top two leagues not interested until the Q/F stage due to the more lucrative money being made in league.It is sad state of affairs but the only way clubs will take this competition seriously is if it is immediately financially rewarding for them.The FA decision to go ahead with the Villa game just adds another nail in the coffin of a great competition.

      1. They should make top 3 in the league and the FA winner for UCL qualification. Everyone will take the cup more than serious.

    2. I remember that like it was yesterday and You was not shot down in a manner .
      Martin simply wrote Articles that football will return as statements from the culture secretary that was all over the news not his own personal opinions and because you didn’t agree you was your usual loud self telling us all you would never watch it have anything to do with football if it was to return but here you are 10 months later acting like some kind of victim😂😂
      I may not have your self proclaimed English degree Jonny boy but what I do have is a very very good memory when it comes to plonkers and the garbage they spew out .

      1. Jon’s got an English degree? I didn’t even get a GCE but here we are on the same blog making ar**s of ourselves.

  4. I concur with your reasoning Highbury Hero, giving top clubs a reason to win the FA Cup Is important. Let’s not kid ourselves, football has been for the money since a long time. Long gone are days of us wanting to watch good football and getting entertained. Teams just want to win any how possible. The era of personal skill has gone. This is the era when technicality is dominating good skill. Yes Rashford is good but nothing compared to Henry. Even though Man Utd are winning, I get borer watching them. And there are no more suprises in the Cup. Only one club (Wigan) has won the trophy in the last ten years who is part of the Big six. Two clubs (Wigan and Portsmouth) have down that in twenty.

    1. You are absolutely correct Kobin. Back in the day results and entertainment were parts of the whole package. Nowadays winning is the whole package.

  5. How about some of our own fans devaluing the FA cup?

    Wasn’t it the cry from a section of them, that winning the fa cup and/or finishing in the top four wasn’t/isn’t good enough?

    At the moment, we have got spud fans in seventh heaven because they are in the final of the Carrabo cup, but not good enough for the self entitled section of our fan base.

    Let’s not throw stones, until we admit that Dan!!!

    1. I’d say it’s only the younger wagon jumpers Ken. Us oldies remember what the real FA Cup was like don’t we.

    2. I agree Ken
      There were indeed fans who moaned about ‘only’ winning the Cup and finishing top 4
      Why I have written before that some fans deserve our current plight

  6. For me personally. I enjoyed and always enjoy when Arsenal wins the FA Cup. Its been trills, the last four. Coming back 2 nil down to Hull and crushing Villa. Then doing the double 2-1s against the “favourites” Chelsea. It’s just football heaven. Should we win this year’s too, yes please. And ps, we have always won the Sheild too.

  7. The FA cup is the oldest football competition in the world. It should be prestigious and it’s legacy respected and protected.

  8. The whol reason i has become devalued is thr pursuit of more and more money. That needs saying , not that it will change a single thing, unless anduntil all football people change their life values from demanding more and more and yet more money – to pay greedy players and their appalling agents and start putting ethics first.

    If we actually did put ethics first, then elite football would have been shut down while the pandemic rages unchecked and so many die each day. But save only me alone, no one on here has ever proposed that. So wanting ethics is a losing battle, sadly. When money becomes your God, don’t be surprised when ethics die.

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