FA chairman Greg Clarke says that if people stop falsely claiming the FA Cup is magic, the competition will be more interesting in the future.
Clarke today announced a plan to revive interest in the cup competition, after the FA received a number of complaints over the weekend.
Many complaints were from parents whose children stayed up to watch Match of the Day expecting a football-based version of Harry Potter.
Their children were disappointed that there was no magic involved at all in defeats by Bournemouth’s reserves at Millwall – nor in Stoke and West Brom losing at home to decent opposition.
Clarke says: “We are calling on everyone to stop using the phrase ‘magic of the cup’ as we realise it’s become very misleading.
“Actually it’s just a knockout competition with a large number of ties between teams from different divisions, a few of which will produce surprise results.
“We think a more honest approach to the competition will work better in the future. We are therefore asking the media to stop imagining lower league sides might have a decent chance against Premier League millionaires.
“We no longer see a need for foreign managers to say the cup is unique or special before picking reserve teams.
“We think the competition still has some things to offer like talented Premier League stars being able to wreak havoc against limited defences, some pluckier backs-to-the-wall defending, grounds that never usually get on the telly being shown, an opportunity for everyone to boost their knowledge of lower league clubs, plus West Ham getting tonked.”
FA chiefs also want the phrase ‘romance of the cup’ to be banned, as new figures indicate that 96% of first dates held at FA Cup Third Round matches do not develop into relationships.
The plan for a more honest approach was chosen ahead of a number of other suggestions for boosting the FA Cup’s profile.
These include providing a Champions League spot for the winners, handing out more prize money, and introducing novelty games for TV viewers, such as Spot the Spectator, which was trialled during Sunday’s Cardiff v Fulham match.
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