Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Once bitten, twice shy...

pic from

Aaah - here we are, two corking semi-finals in the much-maligned FA Cup - two derbies to stir the soul and raise the passions in two football mad cities - that's more like it. And the winners of the ties will get the chance to battle it out on a special one-off day at Wembley in the Cup Final.

Except, obviously, it isn't a special one-off day, because they'll have just played there to earn the right to play there on a special second-time-in-a-month day in the Final.

I know this has been going on for a while. I know that big fat over-budget white elephants don't pay for themselves. But it just doesn't feel right.

80,000ish scousers will have to find a way to get down to London, from the various parts of Wales and the North West that they live. The cost of the tickets is astronomical, the travel likewise. And half will have to do it again four weeks later (although, not quite half, as the corporates will have a much healthier share of the final, naturally). If Liverpool make it, they will be repeating a trip they have made very recently in the League Cup.

Manchester had to do the same last year, city making the trip twice in quick succession.

The London club's fans have it a little easier, travel-wise, of course - but Wembley semi-final tickets carry Wembley semi-final ticket prices.

It is the voice of common sense nagging away at everyone that surely Old Trafford and the Emirates stadium would be more appropriate.

But football does not exist in a common sense world and the old reliable cash-cow fans can still be milked, even in these semi-skimmed economy days. The tickets will be sold, the money will be found and all will seem rosy down wembley way.


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