The FA cup can produce some of the most magical moments in football.
A giant killing lives long in the memory of fans of the club, and dreams of drawing a Premier League club in a packed 60,000 seat stadium remains in the hearts of every player.
Despite this fairy tale seeming like a perfect opportunity for clubs to share the spotlight with world beaters and international greats, do clubs believe it is a lost cause?
After Notts County’s abysmal defeat to Salford City, along with other cup upsets such as Crewe falling to Eastleigh and the once great Wimbledon losing to Forest Green, the question has to be asked as to whether clubs view this competition as a hindrance?
Football purists may deny it, but the FA cup has been declining in popularity over the years, and with financial objectives now controlling many teams’ ambitions, clubs have taken a more relaxed view to England’s national cup competition.
Progressing through the round does gain money for clubs, and this is vital if the club are struggling financially, but staying in a league, or promotion to a higher league comfortably overshadows any winnings made through the FA Cup.
It would be unfair to say that teams lose on purpose, but less effort is being put into games, as shown by Notts County. There was no sign of them wanting to win, no desire, no passion and no guts from a team that should be ashamed to call themselves professionals.
Resting players for league games has become the norm for many clubs, purely due to the league being viewed as more profitable.
For unprofessional Non-League teams an FA cup run can be a highlight of a decade, as shown by the passionate pitch invasion after Salford’s dominant display over Notts County.
Significantly, this does not refer to every Football League side, who could forgot Reading’s heroics to reach the FA cup semi final last season, or Bradford’s heart and desire when deservingly beating Chelsea at Stamford Bridge 4-2?
The ‘magic’ of the FA cup is slowly returning however, with broadcasters BBC giving the competition the recognition it deserves, but whether this will be enough to restore its former glory is yet to be seen.
The truth can’t be hidden from; many Football League teams are caring less about the FA cup. Football is becoming a full time business, and being relegated, or missing out on promotion is creating a lot more money for the rich business minded owners than the FA cup.
Football League fans…. What do you think? Do you agree? Let us know your thoughts and opinions below!