But this year I have heard much less about the top clubs playing weakened teams, and a lot more excitement and determination to succeed. Is it just my own bias because we are having a good run at last, I wondered? Looking at the wider press coverage I thought no, there is a real sense of the ?glory of the cup? in their pages.
Trying to find an answer, I strayed onto the FA website, http://www.thefa.com/TheFACup/TheFACup/NewsAndFeatures/Postings/2007/06/FACupPrizeFund and found that, especially in these credit-crunch days, money is the answer. The FA has greatly increased the prize money in this year?s competition, and the television money has gone up too.
Our run so far has been worth £375k (prize) and £5150 (tv). Last year it would have been worth (had we managed it!) £220k (prize) plus £100k - £300k depending on matches selected for live transmission.
But the biggest jump comes in the later rounds. When we beat (COYB) Middlesborough or WHU we will get £400k (prize) plus £275k assuming the game is shown live which it surely will be. For the Wembley matches prize and tv are bundled. Semi-final losers get £500k (this is really gained by our sixth-round victory) while winners get £1M. And the cup winners get £2M while the defeated finalists get £1M.
So winning the Cup is worth £4.2M in direct payments from the FA (2008 approx £2.7M), while as beaten finalists we would have picked up £3.2M (2008 £1.8M). This takes no account of gate receipts (are there any to the clubs for the Wembley matches?).
I realise this wouldn?t go far to restore Mr. Abramovich?s recent losses, but for a self-financed club whose turnover is around £75M it is not to be sneezed at as a more than handy bonus.
I guess the FA has seen its flagship event declining and has responded in the only language that talks to top football clubs nowadays ? money.
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1 Posted 16/02/2009 at 22:26:00
2 Posted 16/02/2009 at 23:16:11
I think Pompey winning last year helped with the attention and if the money is improved that helps motivate the clubs but when Phil Neville lists that trophy aloft in May we won?t be saying, "Yes! £4.2M in the bag", we?ll be feeling that incredible well of emotion that comes from a win on Cup Final Day.
3 Posted 17/02/2009 at 00:12:53
Shit, I, like you all, have been waiting SO LONG for us to win something. We?ve taken abuse and disappointment and frustration. So many weekends have been ruined... my poor wife...
I just dare not dream...and yet if you can?t enjoy the possibility that we could be good enough what can you enjoy? I keep fearing it will come to an end, we?ll get spanked by a shit team ? perhaps West Ham ? and I?ll feel that fucking disappointment, that fucking dispair that we?re just unlucky and it hurts.
Are we that good? Are we good enough to win it? Well, we look it. And we give heart and soul. And we?re a proper football club so I know we?ll give it our best shot. That will have to do for me cos I simply dare not dream...
4 Posted 17/02/2009 at 10:22:15
It means that while everyone is talking about us as "dark horses" for the cup now, it is because we drew a home tie against West Ham or Boro. That game will be very different from the Liverpool and Villa games, as the opposition will be coming to defend and take us to their stadium for a replay. I still fancy us to have enough on the day, but if we do get through we suddenly become rank outsiders and the fourth best team in the semi-finals.
I think talk of winning the FA Cup is a little premature. It is possible, but we will more than likely have to overcome two of the sky four after beating another Premier League team.
5 Posted 17/02/2009 at 12:14:40
6 Posted 17/02/2009 at 12:18:52
7 Posted 17/02/2009 at 12:48:04
Fact: Arsenal were lucky against us last time out. We can beat them, if not at the Emirates. Chelsea are inconsistent and we are nearing them. Again, we can beat them on our day. Finally the Mancs. We know that we can take them at home. Away have we lost to a single penalty two years in a row.
So I say that they ALL will be wanting to avoid a resugent EFC in the semi. Daunting!!! It is them who will be quaking in their boots at the thought of meeting a fully focused, determined, up and at them Everton team with nothing to loose.
But don't cross your bridges before you reach them.
8 Posted 17/02/2009 at 13:24:18
I hate it when I start being pessimistic
9 Posted 17/02/2009 at 13:21:23
10 Posted 17/02/2009 at 14:10:35
11 Posted 17/02/2009 at 14:12:03
If both teams in the final have already qualified I would have thought the European place goes to league standing?
If being a losing semi finalist would gaurentee us european football, surely it would be more important than the league!!? at the present moment in time.
12 Posted 17/02/2009 at 16:08:53
13 Posted 17/02/2009 at 17:44:08
14 Posted 17/02/2009 at 21:58:20
That is if Man U haven’t already sorted this by beating Spurs in the Carling Cup final and handing the league an extra position.
If Man U win the Carling and the semis are as listed, then even Wigan have a chance of UEFA cup fame (better them than Man C).
You believe me, don’t you?
15 Posted 17/02/2009 at 22:52:04
Uefa didn't want teams like Millwall and what could have been Cardiff entering the new prestigious cup and its new format.
16 Posted 18/02/2009 at 05:58:03
West Ham went all the way to the final a few years ago and if it wasn?t for Stevie Nightclub and the rest of le shite they would've won. Plus I have never felt as low being a blue as when Boro tonked us 3-0 in the cup. I?d kind of like it to Boro we play, that was Smith?s last game in charge and led to Moyes coming. Let's thank them for that by putting 3 past them. We owe them one in the cup. COYB