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Domestic Cup Competitions

By: Rob Sedgwick
Date: 04/08/2000

Domestic Cup Competitions

This week David Peasgood finds Bert and Fred sat on their park bench, considering the question of domestic cup competitions.
Hear their views and YOU decide in our latest 'fishy' poll.

Fred and Bert

'With Tranmere in the Worthington cup final and at least 4 Nationwide teams in the FA Cup quarter final, are the premiership clubs losing interest in our domestic competitions?'

BERT:
Well of course they are and it's all Man Utd's fault. They've fielded reserve teams in the Worthy cup for years now and since they dropped out the FA cup it wasn't worth winning.

FRED:
Rubbish. It's always worth winning a major trophy. You get into Europe for a start.

BERT:
Premiership Clubs get into Europe by doing well in the league. They can't be doing with all these extra games in the cups. They need top 4 league finishes.

FRED:
So what happened to the spirit of competition and winning. What happened to the glory of a Wembley appearance?

BERT:
Wembley appearances aren't special anymore. FA Cup semi's are getting played there now and Arsenal play their Euro games there. Even the wishy washy trophy and FA vase get played there. The magic of the occasion has gone for the big clubs. They pay very big wages and need very big income. The big money comes from European TV money so good league finishes are the key to big earnings. Cup games get in the way.

FRED:
So are you saying the prem clubs are throwing games in the cup?

BERT:
No. I'm saying if Man U play Tranmere on a Tuesday and have a key premiership game on the Saturday at Arsenal, Ferguson would rather rest Giggs and Beckham for the cup game and play two youngsters on the Tuesday. It gives the underdog more chance, and more underdogs are taking these chances.

FRED:
So what's the answer?

BERT:
I don't know. The Euro threat needs sorting, before we end up losing clubs to a Euro league. But for a start FA cup replays could be scrapped and a guaranteed result on the night from penalties or extra time would at least relieve fixture congestion and maybe encourage the top clubs to try more.

FRED:
It could be that the Nationwide clubs are closing the gap on the prem clubs.

BERT:
No I don't see that. As I say, the top clubs are chasing the Euro money and top of the league status. They only try in the cup if like Chelsea this year, they've blown it in the league.

FRED:
Well what does everyone else think? Are the top clubs bothered about our domestic cup competitions?

Now for the vote...

Are the top clubs bothered about our domestic cup competitions?

This poll has been closed!

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