Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has hit out at TV bosses at BBC and Sky Sports for scheduling their FA Cup semi-final tie with Reading at the same time as Manchester United's game against Chelsea this Saturday.
The game at Wembley kicks off at 5.20pm on BBC One and the Premier League between Manchester Untied and Chelsea at Stamford Bridge kicks off 10 minutes later on Sky Sports.
The BBC, in unison with the Football Association, did in fact have the choice of when to screen the semi-final and, rather bravely, chose to go head-to-head with TV giants Sky, who, with the Premier League, had already moved the top of the table clash to Saturday evening back in February.
Arsenal's FA Cup semi-final win against Wigan Athletic last season was shown on ITV with no other Premier League game in action and audience's peaked at an impressive 10million viewers.
But with two of the most popular teams in the country playing at the same time, figures are expected to be much lower. That, Wenger believes, is bad for the FA Cup.
Calls for change
“Something should be done about it,” the Frenchman told reporters.
“I’m surprised they did not analyse that in television deals because basically two television channels who pay a lot of money for football, have conflicted interests in promoting games. That shouldn’t happen.
“You would like it to be the unique competition that is played. Especially a semi-final and a final. You would want it not to conflict with other competitions- It is a surprise to me.
"There is a bit of conflict there that is difficult to understand.”