The Mirror Football columnist has given his take on the upcoming FA Cup semi-finals, which will see fans forced to travel to Wembley on a day when direct trains from the North West are not available.
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I have a word for the FA’s handling of the FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Manchester City – a mess.
It makes my blood boil that they are so deaf to the needs of supporters that they genuinely seem to think a few free bus seats are enough to respond to the traffic chaos they create. to Set up 100 buses for City and Liverpool fans to reach Wembley, is cynical at best, at worst; Well, I’ll take the p***.
Let’s be honest. That’s a MAXIMUM of 5,000 backers.
Far fewer than 10 percent of the 65,000 who have to use the freeway network on one of the busiest holiday weekends of the year because there are no trains.
And of course Wembley is a ‘public transport’ destination, so there’s practically no parking.
When more than 25,000 cars will drive into north London. To be honest, you couldn’t make it up. They’ve known for two years that the west coast rail line would be down for repairs, they’ve been consulting with the rail network since last September.
But no contingency plans in case there are teams from the Northwest, no consultation with fan groups, no common sense. If we’re being brutally honest here, it’s all about the money. It cost the FA £1bn to build the new Wembley and they are still paying off the debt now. So they think they need the money.
But I’m sure they’ve had talks with Liverpool and man city, they would forfeit their winnings from the contest if the game was changed to make up a shortfall. So why not discuss this idea? Why not try to fill any gaps with other revenue streams like concerts or special events?
WILL YOU PARTICIPATE! Where should the semifinals be played? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
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And no one seems to say so, but we’re in one World Championship Year. Which means a massive income boost for the FA. Surely if there was a year when they could really listen to the fans and do the right thing for them, then this was it?
That’s the other thing that makes my blood boil. When it all happened European Super League Fiasco, there was so much lip service to putting fans first from authorities worried they were missing out. When it comes down to it now, the fans come last. It’s embarrassing.
I love the FA Cup, I had some of my proudest moments in competition. And I actually think the FA are devaluing the competition by playing the semi-finals at Wembley. It is said to be the final, the world’s oldest cup competition, to be played in football’s legendary homeland. It should mean something special to get there.
By playing the semifinals there, it removes the romance, makes it less special, more mundane. Liverpool and Chelsea could go to Wembley three (or even four) times this year and that devalues the whole experience. And they wonder why the FA Cup isn’t as revered as it used to be, not as special.
There’s nothing wrong with a neutral venue away from Wembley for the semi-finals. I’ve had some of my biggest games in the FA Cup semi-finals at Old Trafford and Villa Park. Liverpool had some of their best moments in history in these places. I scored two goals in the 1996 semi-final at Old Trafford and a goal I will never forget in the 2001 semi-final at Villa Park.
People always ask me which of those three goals was the best, the most common being either the volley against Villa or the free-kick against Wycombe. But funnily enough, it’s the fall header, the first against Villa, that I like the most because it was a real striker’s goal.
It’s great memories. special memories. For me and the supporters who were there. I think better than if the games were played at Wembley because the atmosphere was more intimate and elevated. I just hope the fans at the semi-finals have similar memories this time around and not just nightmares about traffic jams on the M6 and M1.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/fa-cup-liverpool-man-city-26566041 Greedy FA takes the ass of Liverpool and Man City fans and it's shameful - Robbie Fowler