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  1. #1
    Ultimate Slaver Keith_M's Avatar
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    Diminishing Interest In The FA Cup

    There's an interesting article in The Guardian* about the FA Cup game between Birmingham City and Blackburn where, despite tickets being priced at £12, the attendance was only 7,330

    There's a whole lot of factors behind the apparent lack of interest in the FA Cup and we've seen it ourselves in Scotland, with some pretty crappy Scottish Cup attendances of our own.

    The strange thing is, it used to be the case that attendances would rocket for Cup games, with people being genuinely excited. It's a shame the way it seems to be going.




    * Apologies to Daily Mail, Sun and Telegraph readers.


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  3. #2
    @hibs.net private member Billy Whizz's Avatar
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    Keith, think so many fans now invest in season tickets, far more than in years gone by. Means they may have used their football budget up

  4. #3
    Ultimate Slaver Keith_M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Whizz View Post
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    Keith, think so many fans now invest in season tickets, far more than in years gone by. Means they may have used their football budget up

    I definitely agree that's a factor, Billy.

    It's just a shame, as I still remember the excitement about upcoming Cup games and there would actually be increased attendances (even when I started going to football in the late 70s/early 80s, which was dire for crowds).

    I think it's an issue that the authorities and clubs need to face.

  5. #4
    @hibs.net private member Billy Whizz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith_M View Post
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    I definitely agree that's a factor, Billy.

    It's just a shame, as I still remember the excitement about upcoming Cup games and there would actually be increased attendances (even when I started going to football in the late 70s/early 80s, which was dire for crowds).

    I think it's an issue that the authorities and clubs need to face.
    Other than pricing, whatís the solution Keith. Are too many games on TV now

  6. #5
    @hibs.net private member 90+2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Whizz View Post
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    Other than pricing, whatís the solution Keith. Are too many games on TV now
    Teams care about promotion/survival than the cup. They play second choice teams. I donít blame the fans for not going, especially when you can watch every single game on the telly too.

  7. #6
    @hibs.net private member Diclonius's Avatar
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    The Scottish Cup will always be a big deal up here.

  8. #7
    I've not read the article yet but will have a look at it later. For me in English football it's just simple economics. For, as an example, Aston Villa finishing 17th and remaining in the Premier League is far more valuable than winning the FA Cup. Their manager will pick a team that reflects the fact and fans will respond accordingly. Likewise for Leeds and West Brom trying to reach that land of milk and honey is worth more than a trinket in the cabinet.

    Wigan a few years back is a great example. Won the FA Cup, still had league games to play, relegated and never been back in the top league since and could well be relegated again in the coming months. The fans will remember the FA Cup win forever but from a business perspective it would have made far more sense to stay in the league.

    I don't like that at all. Football should be about winning trophies or being as competitive as you can be but English Football is a tale of have and have nots. Being 13th, 14th, 15th etc in the EPL makes you a have, winning the FA Cup doesn't.

  9. #8
    Ultimate Slaver Keith_M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Whizz View Post
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    Other than pricing, whatís the solution Keith.
    TBH, if I knew what the solution was, I'd be a successful businessman, not a Software Developer



    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Whizz View Post
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    Are too many games on TV now

    Possibly there are, for instance the game in the article was actually moved to a time to suit the Asian market, when they already knew the crowd was going to be low.

    It was also their FIFTH game in THIRTEEN days... Total madness.

  10. #9
    I find it very odd when Man U etc put out reserve teams in this cup. Itís pretty much the only chance of medals this season.

  11. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Keith_M View Post
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    There's an interesting article in The Guardian* about the FA Cup game between Birmingham City and Blackburn where, despite tickets being priced at £12, the attendance was only 7,330

    There's a whole lot of factors behind the apparent lack of interest in the FA Cup and we've seen it ourselves in Scotland, with some pretty crappy Scottish Cup attendances of our own.

    The strange thing is, it used to be the case that attendances would rocket for Cup games, with people being genuinely excited. It's a shame the way it seems to be going.




    * Apologies to Daily Mail, Sun and Telegraph readers.
    To be fair, it was Birmingham v Blackburn !!

  12. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by underscore View Post
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    I find it very odd when Man U etc put out reserve teams in this cup. Itís pretty much the only chance of medals this season.

    Talking of Man United they single handedly confirmed the demise of the FA Cup when they refused to play in it in order to play a challenge match in Brazil IIRC.

    Remember that?

  13. #12
    @hibs.net private member Iggy Pope's Avatar
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    I was at Fulham v Villa yesterday. Villa fans on the tube afterwards didnít appear bothered their arsenal they were out. I blame Man U. They started the depreciation.

  14. #13
    @hibs.net private member 90+2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pollution View Post
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    Talking of Man United they single handedly confirmed the demise of the FA Cup when they refused to play in it in order to play a challenge match in Brazil IIRC.

    Remember that?
    No, they got forced into playing in the world club championship. A little bit of a difference.

  15. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by underscore View Post
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    I find it very odd when Man U etc put out reserve teams in this cup. Itís pretty much the only chance of medals this season.
    As long as they are in touching distance of 4th and Champions League football they won't bother their erse about the FA Cup.
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  16. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Diclonius View Post
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    The Scottish Cup will always be a big deal up here.
    Yet, similar to England our crowds for Scottish Cup games in the earlier rounds are lower than league games, unless we get Hearts.

  17. #16
    Ultimate Slaver Keith_M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pollution View Post
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    Talking of Man United they single handedly confirmed the demise of the FA Cup when they refused to play in it in order to play a challenge match in Brazil IIRC.

    Remember that?

    I remember that vividly.

    I was not impressed.

  18. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Pretty Boy View Post
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    As long as they are in touching distance of 4th and Champions League football they won't bother their erse about the FA Cup.
    That makes sense.

    Also, the Premier League, Championship and some League One teams surely have such a high wage burden that survival in, and promotion into the 'money spinning leagues' above is a priority, including European qualification.

    I wonder when or if the bubble will burst?

  19. #18
    @hibs.net private member Hermit Crab's Avatar
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    The magic is only really there for the lower league and non league clubs in the early rounds. EPL clubs don't really give a toss until quarter final/semi final stage. Its a shame as it used to be a really exciting competition and I used to love watching the small teams give their all in a giant killing attempt.
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  20. #19
    Coaching Staff hibsbollah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pretty Boy View Post
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    I've not read the article yet but will have a look at it later. For me in English football it's just simple economics. For, as an example, Aston Villa finishing 17th and remaining in the Premier League is far more valuable than winning the FA Cup. Their manager will pick a team that reflects the fact and fans will respond accordingly. Likewise for Leeds and West Brom trying to reach that land of milk and honey is worth more than a trinket in the cabinet.

    Wigan a few years back is a great example. Won the FA Cup, still had league games to play, relegated and never been back in the top league since and could well be relegated again in the coming months. The fans will remember the FA Cup win forever but from a business perspective it would have made far more sense to stay in the league.

    I don't like that at all. Football should be about winning trophies or being as competitive as you can be but English Football is a tale of have and have nots. Being 13th, 14th, 15th etc in the EPL makes you a have, winning the FA Cup doesn't.
    The economic argument is the way to understand it.

    But as the article makes clear, you have to be a certain age to understand what the FA cup final used to be about. It had a status and kudos not far off being the league champions. Resting key players automatically for cup games would be unthinkable. And as a fan or TV viewer in the 70s and 80s the Cup was a major deal. Ozzie Ardiles' Spurs beating Coventry City 3-2 sticks in my mind, even in Edinburgh literally all the kids in my class watched it and talked about it on Monday morning. And noone even supported the teams involved! It was just a huge event (and as a TV viewer you were used to a choice between Highway and Songs of Praise, Ski Sunday was the only highlight). And those endless replays! Sheff Wed Chelsea going to a 5th replay, and still you'd get a full house.

    Jumpers for goalposts, marvellous, etc etc.

  21. #20
    Seems to me that all cup matches, across the whole country, have lost something. It felt different in days gone by because cup day was cup day. Everyone played on the same day and if you won your tie, you rushed to the nearest telly or wireless for the next draw that evening.

    (Sinks back into armchair with a misty eye hankering for the good old days).

  22. #21
    @hibs.net private member Hibbyradge's Avatar
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    It's totally understandable why teams prioritise league position, particularly those at the top end of the table and those facing relegation battles.

    Brighton received £105m for finishing 17th in the EPL last season. Cardiff, who were 18th and got relegated, received £103m. So Brighton know that even if this season is poor, their efforts last term earned them a minimum of £208m.

    Qualification for the CL group stages alone is worth about £13.5m and each point won in the group nets about £750k.

    CL winners receive about £75m and that doesn't include the "market pool" which almost doubles all the prize monies earned.

    The winners of the FA Cup received about £7m in total.

    But it's Man United's fault ...
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  23. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by hibsbollah View Post
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    The economic argument is the way to understand it.

    But as the article makes clear, you have to be a certain age to understand what the FA cup final used to be about. It had a status and kudos not far off being the league champions. Resting key players automatically for cup games would be unthinkable. And as a fan or TV viewer in the 70s and 80s the Cup was a major deal. Ozzie Ardiles' Spurs beating Coventry City 3-2 sticks in my mind, even in Edinburgh literally all the kids in my class watched it and talked about it on Monday morning. And noone even supported the teams involved! It was just a huge event (and as a TV viewer you were used to a choice between Highway and Songs of Praise, Ski Sunday was the only highlight). And those endless replays! Sheff Wed Chelsea going to a 5th replay, and still you'd get a full house.

    Jumpers for goalposts, marvellous, etc etc.
    That mystique probably went with wall to wall TV coverage. I can just about remember the days before the total saturation we have now.

    The FA and Scottish Cup finals being televised was probably one of the few occasions people got the chance to see a game in it's entirity on TV. That adds something. It's arguably the same reason the World Cup doesn't invoke the same feeling anymore. You aren't going to see an exotic South American or African set the world alight because he probably plays for Liverpool or PSG and you probably see him every other day on TV.

    I suppose that ultimately comes back to an economic argument again. Fwiw I still love cup football, I think in Scotland you have to because it's the only chance you have of any success, relative or otherwise. If we didn't have that we'd be as well just giving up.

  24. #23
    @hibs.net private member Scouse Hibee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 90+2 View Post
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    No, they got forced into playing in the world club championship. A little bit of a difference.
    They werenít forced at all, they could have refused it and played in the FA cup. Yes the FA wanted them to play as they thought it would benefit their World Cup bid and so offered them the chance to pull out of the FA cup which they took.

    I hate the fact that the money in the game today has devalued the FA cup and teams now play weakened sides. The FA cup was a massive occasion for me in the 70ís & 80ís. If I wasnít at Wembley watching it we alaways had the neighbours round every year regardless of who was playing and it was a real occasion with a buffet in our house, loved those days.
    Last edited by Scouse Hibee; 05-01-2020 at 01:22 PM.

  25. #24
    First Team Regular darwenhibby's Avatar
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    Utd were kind of forced to withdraw from the fa Cup
    The English fa weíre convinced this would allow them sto stage the 2006 World Cup and put pressure on Utd to compete in the first world club cup

  26. #25
    Coaching Staff hibsbollah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pretty Boy View Post
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    That mystique probably went with wall to wall TV coverage. I can just about remember the days before the total saturation we have now.

    The FA and Scottish Cup finals being televised was probably one of the few occasions people got the chance to see a game in it's entirity on TV. That adds something. It's arguably the same reason the World Cup doesn't invoke the same feeling anymore. You aren't going to see an exotic South American or African set the world alight because he probably plays for Liverpool or PSG and you probably see him every other day on TV.

    I suppose that ultimately comes back to an economic argument again. Fwiw I still love cup football, I think in Scotland you have to because it's the only chance you have of any success, relative or otherwise. If we didn't have that we'd be as well just giving up.
    Yes, agree with all that. There's no turning back the clock and the choice provided on TV has changed beyond all recognition.

    But I think the commercialisation and monopolisation at some point has to stop, or at least be managed, and governing bodies have to protect the integrity of cup competitions, even if that involves simply upping the financial rewards. Otherwise the supporters of clubs outside the handful of clubs at the top of the game will have simply nothing to play for.

    Which is where the economic becomes the political.

  27. #26
    @hibs.net private member Mibbes Aye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pretty Boy View Post
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    That mystique probably went with wall to wall TV coverage. I can just about remember the days before the total saturation we have now.

    The FA and Scottish Cup finals being televised was probably one of the few occasions people got the chance to see a game in it's entirity on TV. That adds something. It's arguably the same reason the World Cup doesn't invoke the same feeling anymore. You aren't going to see an exotic South American or African set the world alight because he probably plays for Liverpool or PSG and you probably see him every other day on TV.

    I suppose that ultimately comes back to an economic argument again. Fwiw I still love cup football, I think in Scotland you have to because it's the only chance you have of any success, relative or otherwise. If we didn't have that we'd be as well just giving up.
    Round the clock TV coverage definitely changed things. One of my epochal TV games was when Sours won the Cup against Man City in 1981 I think, in a replay. Because there was so little live football on TV there was a real sense of occasion when a match was broadcast.

    I agree with your point about the World Cup too. I vividly remember the 1982 World Cup and having no idea who Zico, Socrates and Eder were, let alone Paolo Rossi or Karl-Heinz Rummenigge. In those days the only access to knowledge of players like that was my barber, who had copies of World Soccer on a coffee table, to peruse while you waited (He also had some magazines of a more racy quality but they were a bit scary when you were eight years old and really just wanting a short back and sides).
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  28. #27
    Coaching Staff jacomo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith_M View Post
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    There's an interesting article in The Guardian* about the FA Cup game between Birmingham City and Blackburn where, despite tickets being priced at £12, the attendance was only 7,330

    There's a whole lot of factors behind the apparent lack of interest in the FA Cup and we've seen it ourselves in Scotland, with some pretty crappy Scottish Cup attendances of our own.

    The strange thing is, it used to be the case that attendances would rocket for Cup games, with people being genuinely excited. It's a shame the way it seems to be going.




    * Apologies to Daily Mail, Sun and Telegraph readers.

    No apologies needed. Anyone reading those rags deserve what they get!

  29. #28
    Coaching Staff Iain G's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by underscore View Post
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    I find it very odd when Man U etc put out reserve teams in this cup. Itís pretty much the only chance of medals this season.
    They also put out reserve teams in the premier League most weeks, oh wait, that is their first team you say? 😁

  30. #29
    Testimonial Due Cataplana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mibbes Aye View Post
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    Round the clock TV coverage definitely changed things. One of my epochal TV games was when Sours won the Cup against Man City in 1981 I think, in a replay. Because there was so little live football on TV there was a real sense of occasion when a match was broadcast.

    I agree with your point about the World Cup too. I vividly remember the 1982 World Cup and having no idea who Zico, Socrates and Eder were, let alone Paolo Rossi or Karl-Heinz Rummenigge. In those days the only access to knowledge of players like that was my barber, who had copies of World Soccer on a coffee table, to peruse while you waited (He also had some magazines of a more racy quality but they were a bit scary when you were eight years old and really just wanting a short back and sides).
    I think it was On the Ball that used to have a European round up. It exposed us to unusual kit design, and even sponsorship!

    There was no way you would remember the names of players, it was an era when words like Ajax, Juventus and Real were the subject of prolonged debates in the playground.

  31. #30
    @hibs.net private member 90+2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scouse Hibee View Post
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    They werenít forced at all, they could have refused it and played in the FA cup. Yes the FA wanted them to play as they thought it would benefit their World Cup bid and so offered them the chance to pull out of the FA cup which they took.

    I hate the fact that the money in the game today has devalued the FA cup and teams now play weakened sides. The FA cup was a massive occasion for me in the 70ís & 80ís. If I wasnít at Wembley watching it we alaways had the neighbours round every year regardless of who was playing and it was a real occasion with a buffet in our house, loved those days.
    They got told to go there and withdrew from the FA cup because the FA wanted them to go and represent England for the WC bid, they didnít even try when they got there. So instead of blaming Man Utd for killing the FA Cup (not you mate) the blame should perhaps be aimed at em the FA.

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