Insult to the FA Cup – and fans

Insult to the FA Cup – and fans

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    Let me join the congratulations to Lincoln City, Sutton United and Oxford United for producing terrific FA Cup upsets. And Wycombe too for coming very close to winning at Tottenham.

    However, despite these results, the Cup is being tarnished by clubs higher up the scale failing to play anything like their first teams. Wholesale changes are an insult to this great competition.

    What do supporters who travel great distances to watch their teams think when they listen to the announcer blast out a set of unfamiliar names?

    It’s a little bit like paying a price to watch, say, Coldplay at a concert and when you turn up it’s a Coldplay tribute band walking out onto the stage.

    Oh! You will get the usual comments by the managers that it’s squad rotation and the right thing to do. They must think fans are stupid.

    So the people running this historic tournament need to take action by fining those clubs who play understrength teams. It is an easy process to carry out by studying the team selections over the previous ten weeks.

    Looking ahead, the one thing that I think would make a difference is rewarding the winners with the coveted fourth place Champions League spot, instead of it being for being fourth in the Premier League.

    The people at the Football Association have inherited the responsibility of guardianship of this great Cup.

    They need to act before it slips even further down the pecking order and is sunk into oblivion by the many managers and players, some from overseas, who appear not to have any regard for upholding our great traditions.