Belfast Telegraph

Alan Green: Cup romance too costly these days

Despite being willed on, in particular by 5 Live, the 3rd round of the FA Cup was — Swindon’s victory over Wigan reserves aside — largely devoid of romance, drama and upsets.

That’s the trouble with always dwelling too much on the past.

The reality in regard to the status of the competition these days was provided in the stark figure for the crowd at the game I commentated on at St Andrews: less than 15,000 for the West Midlands derby between Birmingham and Wolves.

It was the home club’s worst attendance of the campaign.

City won the Carling Cup last season, the only significant trophy in the club’s history, but they were also relegated.

So, not unreasonably, manager Chris Hughton’s priority, amidst financial disarray behind the scenes, is to make sure they don’t drop further. He made SEVEN changes for the Wolves game.

What price then for romance and dreams of Wembley? The truth is the FA Cup cannot remotely compete with the Premier League never mind the Champions League.

Sadly, it is a competition in decline.

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