Too powerful, too self-interested – will the Premier League kill the FA Cup?

Too powerful, too self-interested – will the Premier League kill the FA Cup?

Reports in national newspapers on Tuesday suggest that the Premier League are attempting to change the FA Cup competition.  They must be stopped.

Rob Fielding writes

Reports in the Telegraph and Sun newspapers say that Premier League clubs want the FA Cup to become a midweek competition with no replays. They also want to change the rules for the League Cup at the same time. Apparently, it is to reduce the number of games Premier League clubs have to play (you can start the sad violin playing here…)

This is a terrible, self-serving idea and one that would kill the romance and tradition of the FA Cup in one blow. It should not be allowed to happen…

Even without our bias towards a club in the Football League with a proud FA Cup giantkilling record, this is a terrible, self-serving idea and one that would kill the romance and tradition of the FA Cup in one blow. It should not be allowed to happen.

But worryingly, this isn’t the only way that the all-powerful Premier League is gradually distorting and damaging the game

We already have the ludicrious situation of Vale having to change any home game that clashes with neighbours Stoke City. This isn’t Stoke’s demand – it’s part of the terms of the solidarity payment (a pitifully tiny few hundred grand from the multi-billion pound TV deal that the Premier League gives to clubs like Vale) that the Football League club has to give way. Let’s not worry about the effect the change will have on fans who have arranged work time or travel to get to the original fixture, let’s not worry about the effect a Friday or Sunday game may have on the Vale gates – let’s just make sure the Premier League game kicks off at the best time for the all important TV companues.

Let’s not worry about the effect the change will have on fans who have arranged work time or travel to get to the original fixture…

We’re not even going to go into the ridiculous parachute payments – a system that has vastly inflated the wealth gap between Championship and League One to such an extent that clubs with Port Vale’s finances simply have little chance of competing even if we got promotion. The parachute payments are also creating an orgy of over-spending (surely the only reason Andre Gray is worth £7m is because Burnley think he will get them back into the Premier League) which will result in more clubs ending up like Bolton (millions and millions in debt).

Anyhow, back to the FA Cup. It’s a stupid, self-centred and short-term idea to change it to midweek with no replays. This change cannot be allowed to happen. No doubt the Premier League will try to “sugar the pill” by making some sort of “solidarity” cach payment for the change. It should not be accepted.

It’s time for the Football League, the Football Association and clubs like Port Vale to stand their ground against the Premier League bullyboy tactics. Enough is enough.