Let all clubs have share of Cup cash
ONE of the guys in our office is, for his sins, a West Ham fan and decided to take his two children along to see the Hammers play Manchester City in the FA Cup on Friday night.
The first match of the third round, the kids, in particular, were really looking forward to seeing their heroes in action. They wanted to see their favourite player, Dimitri Payet, and his team-mates try to knock out one of the top sides in the country.
What happened? West Ham were smashed 5-0 and Payet, along with skipper Mark Noble, came on just before the hour mark with the Hammers already 4-0 down and heading out of the Cup.
It appears the FA Cup wasn’t exactly a priority for the Hammers, but why not? It’s a chance to win a trophy, they’ve moved away from the Premier League relegation zone and they’re not back in league action until next Saturday.
The BBC, who screened the match, must have felt short-changed, just like millions of viewers at home. West Ham pick up a cheque for £144,000 for being on live, but should hand it back after that abject performance.
There have been suggestions in the past week that the FA are considering abolishing the bumper television fees and boosting prize money instead, so that all clubs can benefit (see centre-pages).
This would be a step in the right direction. With Premier League clubs invariably being chosen for live coverage, the number of EFL and Non-League clubs receiving a slice of a juicy pie is limited.
And yet the clubs who could really do with that cash windfall are exactly those clubs missing out. In comparison, £144,000 to Manchester United, whose FA Cup ties are always screened, is chicken feed.
As for our West Ham fan? Well, he doesn’t need to worry about the FA Cup for another year…