Last Sunday, the TV rights holders and the FA announced plans to change the FA Cup with several radical ideas, a 5:30 final, midweek games, no replays and seeding.
People like Mike Parry somehow make lots of dough talking bullocks on two national radio stations (although I assume he is paid to talk bullocks to get callers in and make money) and yet I sit here unemployed and writing stuff on the internet. He is basically saying “the best teams should play the final”, “lets seed it and rip up the glory in pieces”. This makes me mad, why? Why should the Cup be seeded? I went to the 2005 Cup Final and remember nothing, except Vieira scored the winner and we won. I probably remember more about Barnsley’s 2008 Cup run and how it could have ended in ultimate glory. Parry implies it should be about the best two clubs in England, and it should be about the TV audience saying people will “switch off” if its Portsmouth/Cardiff over Chelsea/Manchester United. I’m sorry, who remembers that Chelsea/Manchester United game from 2007 over that Liverpool/Wimbledon game or the 1976 game Manchester United/Southampton. That’s what the Cup is about, its not about your two of top 6, its about seeing the little underdog getting to a final and take on the massive giant. Like 2010 when Chelsea played relegated, administrated, 10 pounds away from death Portsmouth. I was on the edge of my seat all the way, how refreshing was it to see Portsmouth/Cardiff in 2008 over Manchester United/Chelsea. I doubt a seeded tournament would ever see great finals like 1988 or 1976, or runs like 1997 with Chesterfield, Wolves in 1998 or even Barnsley 2008.
I want to see teams like the Dons, Cardiff or Pompey getting to finals and having days at Wembley with a big chance to win trophies. It does not matter how you get there, you deserve to be there, enjoy it. Mugs like Parry saying “Its selfish to see fans like Millwall and Portsmouth dare enjoy their day out instead of TV audiences watching a good game” – No, shut up. Millwall, Portsmouth, Cardiff, whoever, should be allowed to enjoy their finals over TV audiences. Its not about how many neutrals watch a mediocre final and the figures, its about seeing Southampton stuff Man Utd from the 3rd tier. The day you seed the FA Cup, the day it loses the magic that makes us fall in love with Football.
The only change the Cup needs, is to have small ticket prices up to the Quarter Finals to get more fans in and give it the brilliant atmosphere it deserves.