Let all clubs have share of Cup cash

The Football League Paper - - BIG INTERVIEW -

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…

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