The Football League Paper - - GRAHAM WESTLEY -

THE longer this sea­son has gone on, the deeper are the wounds that ex­ist as the big clubs leave the FA Cup to one side in favour of Premier League or Euro­pean riches.

The big­gest clubs in our coun­try are ef­fec­tively stick­ing two fin­gers up to the ‘great­est Cup com­pe­ti­tion in the world’.

The FA Cup has cre­ated fairy­tales over the years, it has pro­vided in­di­vid­u­als and clubs with the op­por­tu­nity to cre­ate leg­endary mo­ments and achieve­ments, it is part of our na­tional sport­ing her­itage.

We have laws in our coun­try to pro­tect listed build­ings. Well, the FA Cup should have sim­i­lar pro­tected sta­tus.

You can­not make any club play any player in any com­pe­ti­tion. But ev­ery club has an obli­ga­tion to in­vest back into the sin­gle most im­por­tant com­pe­ti­tion in our game.

Since money drives so much, I’d like to see the Govern­ment place an FA Cup tax on Premier League clubs that is re-in­vested in sig­nif­i­cant prize funds for reach­ing the last eight, four and two.

Take £4m per Premier club – would it kill them? Not one bit. Give the win­ners £50m. That would sharpen the fo­cus.

Some­thing has to be done. The few are be­com­ing far more im­por­tant than the many and it is not what sport should be about.

We should share a pas­sion for our game. And we all need to share a pas­sion for fair­ness to each other within the game. That is sport. That is foot­ball.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.