FA Cup winners need big reward
LET THEM GO FOR CHAMPS LGE
IT IS great to see Bradford winning at Chelsea. Phil Parkinson and his team have certainly learned the art of giant-killing and I would not dare to undermine that achievement. It doesn’t matter which team Chelsea put out; it is still a remarkable victory.
However, if it was a Johnstone Paint Trophy game, the rules would have prevented Chelsea from making nine changes. They would have been forced to play much closer to their regular starting XI.
If Bradford had beaten that Chelsea team then the achievement would be one notch further up the achievement chain. And I think that the FA Cup needs a rule like that.
The significance of the FA Cup changed when Manchester United were allowed to miss out to play in the World Club Championship. It was done for the right reasons. But from then on, the underlying psychology of the Cup has been that it is of less importance. That it is OK for other things to take priority.
But it isn’t OK. This is the most significant club cup competition in the world. The FA Cup spreads dreams and excitement and it fuels the evolution of clubs.
Come to Stevenage and look at our magnificent training ground funded by the club’s 2011-12 Cup run.Without the FA Cup, a small club like ours would never have acquired a facility like this that will be part of the regional infrastructure now for future generations.
We must not underestimate the value of the FA Cup. And we must preserve its status.
In the past, we have discussed a European prize for the winners. Here I am discussing sanctions. Maybe it is a combination that is required.
I wonder if the Community Shield should be played between fourth place in the Premier League and the FA Cup winners for a Champions League slot? That would sharpen the focus. And increase the interest in the season’s opening game.
I don’t like to see Manchester City and Chelsea out this early. Both ought to be playing in big games later on in the competition. Not treating the competition lightly and falling at home.
We want the shocks. But we don’t want an FA Cup that loses its significance.