When one bloke who supports Manchester City blurts about how he’s not bothered that they lost to Middlesbrough, because he’d rather see City do well in Europe or the Premier League - yeah, right mate! I’m sure that would have been your stance had you actually won 6-0!
And then there’s the other bloke, Worcester City die hard, doesn’t usually participate in football debates because how can a Worcester City fan laugh at those billionaire-owned clubs when they lose?
He gets that ‘night before Christmas’ feeling every time his side play in the cup. That's on the off-chance they win multiple preliminary round games, without the majority of us even realising it's going on, to make the first round.
Bigger clubs prioritise Premier League & Champions League
But there is still the question of why do Premier League teams field weakened sides against their lower-league opposition to be answered.
The answer is simple, chairman, managers, players and fans alike of these clubs still believe Premier League survival or achieving a Champions League place is far more important than a good run in the FA Cup.
They don’t care about a measly £60,000 for getting past round three, that doesn’t even cover their star player’s weekly wage.
Massive for lower-league clubs
But that same sum for a club in the sometimes forgotten regions of English football, could make or break a club. It’s massive.
Once the First Round Proper draw comes about the non-league clubs who boast a striker named Dave, whose day job is a plumber, sit anxiously to see if they can get one of the bigger clubs from England’s League’s One and Two.
Yet still, at this point, the FA Cup’s press coverage is relatively low. How many fans of a Premier League team are really interested in watching Colchester United take on Peterborough United in the 2nd round? I doubt many Colchester and Peterborough fans were even that bothered.
Magic starts in Round Three
The magic of the FA Cup starts to come about in round three when David (who may actually be a plumber, who am I to decide that) meets Goliath, and although the bookies give you odds of 100s/1 for Dave to score, they actually go on and win the game.
As a fan of a League One club, I can personally speak on behalf of many lower-league club fans that the magic is still there for us.
When we get past Round One and have a terribly hard fixture for the Second Round, but somehow make it through – no-one in those terraces will turn around and say: “You know what, I think we could win the darn thing this year.” We don’t. We focus on the potential of a big tie to come, and take it one game at a time.
The magic of the cup still exists, trust me, you just may have become blinded by the fortunes of your club in other competitions - but don’t forget the little guy who keeps the magic wand wafting.
Is the FA Cup still an important competition in English football? Have your say in the comments below.
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