As I write this, it is 4:50pm on Saturday 5th May 2012. In just 25 minutes time, Liverpool step out at Wembley for the third time this season. After winning the Coca Cola cup final, and beating Everton in the FA Cup semi final – we have a chance of wining our second piece of silverware of the season. Yet the cup has been eroded over time in the hearts and minds of supporters. I remember, when I was younger, it didn’t matter who was playing or who we supported. Myself, Rob and Phil used to get together every single FA Cup final weekend, get drunk, and watch the final. In those days, it mattered. Whereas I will be over the moon if we do win, it is such as shame that it means so much less than it used to. Yes, the Champions League is around now – meaning that finishing fourth is better than winning a cup, sad though it is. But the FA really haven’t helped with their decisions over the years.
Semi Finals at Wembley
From the 1990 – 1991 season, Wembley has been used for semi-finals. This meant that twice as many teams got to play at the famous stadium every season, and the specialness of playing there was eroded. At least that year, there was a reasonable argument for playing it there, as it was Spurs v. Arsenal. This year saw the whole of Merseyside having to decamp to London for Everton v. Liverpool. A disgrace.
Penalty shoot-outs introduced
Due to the police demanding extra notice before games are scheduled, from the 1992 – 1992 season ten days insted of three were required between drawn matches and replays. This meant that penalty shoot outs were introduced to keep the tournament on schedule.
Final replays scrapped
From 1994 – 1995 the FA Cup final replay in the event of a draw was scrapped.
Semi-Final replays scrapped
From 1999-2000 season, semi-final replays were scrapped.
Start moved back
In 1999-2000 Third round is played before Christmas.
No Exclusivity for Final
The worst decision for me. The FA Cup was special. It was on it’s own, the end of the season. It was exclusive. But from 2010-2011 season, this exclusivity was stopped – allowing premiership games to be played on the same day. Manchester City play Stoke in the cup on the same day Manchester United win the league, overshadowing City’s momentous achievement winning their first cup for approximately 1000 years.
3pm Kick off moved
Possibly the final nail in the coffin – the 3pm kick is abandoned for the first time since the second world war. hence I am writing this at 5:05 pm with ten mins to go until kick off.
I’m now off to watch the match – but I just wish the FA hadn’t devalued it so.