I remember a time when FA Cup final day was one of the most exciting days on the entire calendar. It didn’t matter who you supported, you had to tune in to watch who would lift the prestigious trophy at the fabled Wembley Stadium! In fact you didn’t just tune in for the match at 3pm, you sat down and watched the entire build-up to the game. After all, it was the one day of the year you would get excited watching people get on a bus!
But all that has now changed because, according to the Football Association, “research showed that 5.15pm was more appealing than 3pm”. That was their reasoning when they made the change last year, and clearly the television viewer was their main concern. But what about those who actually go to the games – the ones who help keep their clubs alive despite money being tight in households across the country?
There appears to have been little regard for them when the FA made their decision to keep the late kick-off time for the second season running. Even if the tie does end in 90 minutes, supporters of both clubs will still be facing a race against time to make the last train to the North West – if it goes to extra time they will have to walk out early or find a hotel and that will not be cheap in the capital!
And what about this scenario? Every year Wigan Athletic supporters suffer the agony of watching their side fight for Premier League survival, and nothing has changed this season. However, unlike previous seasons they are 90 minutes away from lifting a major piece of silverware. And let’s say they win it! Fans are facing up to the prospect of having to leave Wembley without seeing the historic moment in which their players lift the FA Cup trophy. Hands up who thinks this is fair?
Sadly television and money have once again been put before those who are the lifeblood of the clubs. But let’s be honest, is anyone really surprised?
Written by Leigh Copson from Bettingpro.com.