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Spurs v Manchester City: FA Once More Showing They Care Little For Supporters

Blues Get 8pm Kick-off Time for 4th Round Clash

Manchester City v Huddersfield Town - Emirates FA Cup - Third Round - Etihad Stadium Photo by Martin Rickett/PA Images via Getty Images

Football is nothing without supporters. That’s the rhetoric that comes from organisations such as the FA and Premier League, who claim to value the impact and input of the people who make football special - the fans.

Yet, the FA have once more surrendered to their TV overlords above that of paying supporters by moving clashes around to accommodate the watching public. And, in the not-so-biggest shock of the week, it’s City and Newcastle who bear the brunt of it.

The blues have seen their clash at Spurs moved to a Friday night slot, with an 8pm kick-off. The last train from Euston to Manchester leaves at 2203, giving supporters just 18 minutes from the end of the match to get to Euston. And that’s if the match actually finishes on time - and we all know it won’t. With the ridiculous amount of injury time that’s now being added to football matches, it’ll be closer to 10pm when this clash finishes.

This means supporters wanting to travel will now need to book overnight accommodation, on a Friday night, in London, with just two weeks notice. Either that or they can book the 2330 from Euston, which incorporates 2 changes, including a lovely 3 hour wait at Wolverhampton, before finally getting back to Manchester for 0715.

How is this bringing supporters closer to the game?

And Newcastle are in exactly the same boat as City. Their match at Fulham has been selected for a 7pm kick-off on the Saturday evening. Yet the last train from Euston to Newcastle leaves ten minutes before the end of the match. They could catch the 2135 back home which, after a 9 hour wait at Doncaster, will see them home for around 1100 on Sunday morning.

Both of these matches could easily have been incorporated into the Saturday schedule. Newcastle could have gone at 1230, with City taking a 1730 kick-off time. Both would allow ample time for supporters to make their way home without any additional costs or interruption.

But, let’s face it, that would be far too easy.

Instead, the FA have allowed their overlords to show Ipswich Town v Maidstone United, two teams that are less than 100 miles apart, on the Saturday at 1230. That could have been shown on the Sunday, but again, that’s far too easy isn’t it?

It’s not the first time that City and Newcastle have been targeted either. In August, the Premier League bowed down to their masters, the ones who truly control the footballing schedule, when they allowed City to host the Toon at the Etihad Stadium with an 8pm kick-off, giving no regard as to how the thousands of travelling Newcastle fans would get home.

It’s time the FA stopped selling the supporters out. If they want us to attend matches, they’ve got to be reasonable about it. They can’t continually screw the fans over just because the TV companies put ridiculous demands on their contracts. We all know they won’t, as they put money before anything else. And this is what they accuse Manchester City of! Oh, the irony.

The magic of the FA Cup - but not if you’re a paying supporter of Newcastle United or Manchester City.