Manchester City Council

FAns ?

I've joined with Councillor Joe Anderson from Liverpool in complaining to the FA about the timing and location of the United/Everton FA cup semi-final.

Not only do both sets of supporters have to travel to London for the game to help pay for the ludicrously expensive new Wembley, the game is timed at 4.00 p.m. on a Sunday to suit TV meaning it will be late into the night by the time supporters get back to the North West. So the game is arranged for the benefit of the FA and TV. Consideration for fans doesn't even come into it. This complete lack of common sense is compounded by the fact that the other semi-final will involve at least one and possibly two London clubs whose supporters would not have the same level of inconvenience from playing at Sunday teatime.

Later this morning I talk to a bunch of civil servants about place and the role of councillors. Then it's lunch with the Dean of Manchester to talk about how The Cathedral can maximise its contribution to the life of the city. Finally, I'm on a train to the dreaded London for a meeting with MPs about funding for public transport in Greater Manchester. The observant amongst you will have noticed that three months after the TIF referendum there is still no plan B but work continues to try and bring at least some transport investment to the city-region. Hopefully home before midnight but at least I will get lots of paper work done on the train.

There are 12 responses to “FAns ?”

  1. Alan Says:

    You're absolutely right. Semi-finals should take place at Villa Park, or why not the magnificent St. James's Park? Or at a push, Elland Road, though that would have to be a MASSIVE push.

  2. RF Says:

    I think it`s about time the supporter`s club`s of all teams should get together and demand that the fans have a say in where and when they play the games.

  3. Manchester Man Says:

    Totally agree and good luck in persuading the FA, Sir Richard. I think you’re flogging a dead horse though.

    The best way to get the FA to change their mind would be for all fans of teams involved in the semi-finals played at Wembley, this year and any other year, to boycott them. The lack of revenue and utter embarrassment of having a half empty stadium for a game of such importance would surely be enough to result in a change of thinking.

  4. A B U Says:

    Unfortunatly Manchester Man boycots do not work with huge games as there are always people willing to go and fill the space of those not willing to go.

    I don't see what the problem is in all honesty and i don't think you should waste time with this campaign Sir Richard. It really isn't very far from Kent to Wembley so the majority of Man Utd fans will be home in time for a prawn sandwich tea.

  5. ABABU Says:

    You can try all you want but the FA will not be interested. Re ABU - Yawn.

  6. Lazyitis Says:

    ABU's petty comments are exactly the reason why any football campaigns of this type flounder. For once United and Everton have put aside rivaries to make a point for the better good of all fans, but the response from others is outdated comments regarding out of town fans. If City or even Bolton ever managed to get to the Fa Cup Semi (yeah, I know stop laughing)I presume the same issue would arise. Divide and conquer.

  7. A B U Says:

    The reason that campaigns like this flounder is not because of outdated comments or opinion, but because TV is king.
    The sooner the customers....i mean fans of Manchester United realise that their position in the football world is entirely down to television and the money it offers them the better. Do not bite the hand that feeds...

    Besides the out-of-town-fan concept is hardly outdated. There will be significantly more Everton fans from Liverpool at the match than United fans from Manchester. My argument was that Sir Richard should not campaign for a date/time change as he is supposed to be representing the people of Manchester- Not its fans. Two entirely different things.

  8. ABABU Says:

    ABU - This has nothing to do with television. The game could be played at a neutral (Northern) ground and still be televised. The fact is that the new Wembley, which ran horrendously over budget has to be paid for. Your petty comments bear little relevance to what Mr Leese is acutally campaigning for. The fact remains that two North West clubs should not be forced to play anything other than a final/showpiece game in the South of England (the time would be a moot point if, for example, Villa Park were to be used). I can't wait for your next boring, cliché ridden repsonse.

  9. Lazyitis Says:

    TV decides when the matches are, but the FA decides where the match is held, that's the point. Unfortunately common sense and football do not always go together, and the travelling fan is way down the list when it comes to deciding venues / times.
    It's politics and PR isn't it? Cllr (is he Sir?) Leese is looking for a popular campaign after a few PR reverses last year, and something that affects Manchester's best ever export (can you think of any thing else that Manchester is the World's Best at?)fits the bill, which is not to say that it isn't a worthwhile issue for the people of Manchester.

  10. A B U Says:

    Have you read Sir Richards comments?? This has everything to do with television. The FA are tied into a 25 year contract to play semi's at Wembley (this i agree is wrong)therefore any campaign by Sir Richard will hinge on the time of the final. This will not be changed because of TV.

    ITV/Setanta will pull in a massive audience for a Manchester United game therefore they couldn't give two hoots about the customers....i mean fans. My point- and i stick by it (cliches often arise from truths)- is Sir Richard should not campaign for something that has very little to do with the people he is supposed to be representing. The people of Manchester. How many Mancunians will make the journey? And how many will be back in their Hertfordshire home (having left early) by teatime?

  11. ABABU Says:

    Yawn, yawn and indeed thrice yawn. Do you know how many Mancunians will make the journey? I have a stong feeling that, from your Stockport base (wow, it is fun to trawl out tired 'facts') you do not. It was 30 years, not 25 by the way that the FA said that they would be playing such games at Wembley (you seem to be a stickler for facts). Just to clarify, the over-arching point (in general, not Mr Leese's) has nothing to do with television. If a mass protest were to be staged with fans staying away, the lost revenue would mean that the FA would have to act. Icidentally, I meant the whole Kent, Hertfordshire, whichever quaint place you pick next to further propagate your lies has nothing to do with Mr Leese's comments as they are just boring conjecture.

  12. ABABU Says:

    Also, sorry, I forgot to mention, that whilst the FA have promised to play a set number of games at Wembley each year (for 30 years), this does not constitute a contract. The TV rights have not been decided for 30 years in advance. Back over to the FA who are responsible for this farce.



The blog of the leader of Manchester City Council, Councillor Richard Leese.

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