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The FA come to this ‘compromise’ for Liverpool fans and Manchester City supporters – Complete joke

3 months ago
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I wrote an article the other day saying I had every sympathy for the Liverpool fans and Manchester City supporters.

It was about the FA Cup semi-final that Liverpool fans and Manchester City supporters have got next month.

Basically, Liverpool fans and Manchester City fans are expected to go to Wembley for the FA Cup semi-final, with the added obstacle of work on the railway lines (which has been scheduled for a couple of years and the FA etc knew all about) meaning you can’t get direct trains to London on the weekend of the match from either Manchester or Liverpool.

The mayors of the two cities had, amongst many others. called for the FA Cup semi-final between Manchester City and Liverpool to be moved away from Wembley and sending a joint letter to The FA asking for this to happen.

The FA said on Monday that it was working with both clubs and transport bodies to ensure fans would be able to get to and from Wembley with a statement reading: “We are also continuing to work with both Network Rail and National Express to find a solution so that supporters of both teams are able to travel to and from the fixture with as minimal disruption as possible.”

The bottom line appeared to be that The FA were insistent that no matter what, they want this (and all other FA Cup semi-finals every year) to be played at Wembley.

The reason being that they need to generate as much money as possible from hosting events at Wembley, to pay off the ridiculous amount of money that was spent (as well as interest on loans) to build the new Wembley, a financial situation that has been made even worse for them by Covid impact.

I also explained why as a Newcastle United fan, I had sympathy for Liverpool fans and Manchester City supporters and why the insistence on the game being at Wembley is so ludicrous for countless other reasons (read below).

I wasn’t surprised to see plenty of Newcastle fans commenting that they couldn’t care a less, or even that it was a good thing that Liverpool and Man City supporters were set to be forced to travel to Wembley rather than play more conveniently at Old Trafford. Which kind of sums up English football and why clubs and the authorities get away with so much nonsense, as vast majority of supporters are only worried about themselves and how their club is affected. So my point is, if we as Newcastle fans don’t have any sympathy for fans of other clubs when they are treated so badly, why on earth can we then expect anybody else to care when it is our turn…

Anyway, here is the ‘compromise’ that The FA have came up with.

The excellent Ian Dennis (formerly BBC Newcastle, now of course BBC Radio Five Live) reporting the following via his Twitter account on Friday (25 March) morning:

‘Dates and KO times confirmed for the 2 FA Cup semi finals at Wembley.

Saturday 16 April: Manchester City v Liverpool at 15:30

Sunday 17 April: Chelsea v Crystal Palace at 16:30

No train services from NW [North West] so the FA will charter 100 buses from Anfield and the Etihad Stadium respectively to Wembley Stadium and back. They estimate up to 5,000 Liverpool and Manchester City fans will be able to travel to Wembley Stadium free of charge for their Semi Final tie.’

So….clearly no intention of moving it from Wembley for all those countless obvious reasons (see below).

With this bizarre ‘compromise’ that they see as appropriate.

How is giving a free bus ride to 5,000 even fair?

Plus of course travelling on a bus isn’t exactly an attractive option compared to the train, especially if that train ride was half an hour or so to Manchester instead of however long on a coach to Wembley.

How does this help the 70,000 or whatever who still have to get to London / Wembley and have been given no help / compensation for the extra hassle?

Putting on a hundred buses will probably cost The FA around £200,000 I’m guessing, why not at the very least knock a tenner off everybody’s ticket price and at least make some credible (in a small way) fair concession to all? Obviously that would be around £800,000 or so less revenue but why milk fans at such a bad financial time???

Why the semi-final had to be at Old Trafford not Wembley for the Liverpool fans and Man City supporters…

The idea of two clubs that are both within 30 miles of Old Trafford, having to then see all their fans travel to Wembley instead, which only has a 10% or so bigger capacity, is ludicrous to start with.

Then you have The FA insisting the game is at Wembley because they have got themselves into a massive financial hole, with the expectation that then 70,000 or so ordinary people / football fans who are facing a huge cost of living crisis, have to pay loads of extra unnecessary money (and in many cases will have to go into more debt to afford the trip) to watch their team in the semi-final.

You then have this very significant extra issue, whereby nobody can get a direct train to London from Liverpool or Manchester. Massive extra inconvenience for so many people.

That train issue will then also increase the sheer number of coaches and cars etc having to travel so many unnecessary miles to London. As well as the expense, the extra harm to the environment and climate change, global warming etc of all that traffic having to make long journeys (400+ miles round trip) from the north west, instead of it being a very short journey.

Honestly, just how out of touch are the people at The FA?

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