Outside the Box: Madness of having full top-flight programme on same day as FA Cup final
Sunday 27 March 2011
Exciting as it may be to have the Champions' League final at Wembley on 28 May, the demands and restrictions that Uefa put on the occasion are not only keeping Football Association staff at full stretch but are causing all sorts of other ramifications.
The Football League have already had to be compensated for moving the League One and League Two play-off finals to Old Trafford that weekend and Premier League clubs are slowly coming to terms with the unprecedented situation of having a full programme scheduled for the same day as the FA Cup final on 14 May. Under normal circumstances, the final would have been on 28 May, a week after the League season finished.
Uefa, however, insist that no matches be played at their venue in the 10 days beforehand, and with Wembley not available on 4 June, when England are at home to Switzerland, the FA's showpiece has had to be brought forward by a fortnight.
Clubs like Birmingham City (playing Fulham) and Liverpool (against Tottenham) have put their home games back to the following day and others are expected to follow suit; but Sky Sports will want to show a match at lunchtime, giving fans a rush to get home in time for the final.
Then, of course, the two finalists will have to move their scheduled matches, which if Manchester United are involved will add another complication to the title race. United are due to play at Blackburn while the other games that could be affected are Manchester City against Stoke City and Bolton's trip to Blackpool.
Stoke Ladies beat Stoke Ladies
Meanwhile, as Stoke fans clamour for 32,000 tickets for their first FA Cup semi-final since 1972, the club's women's team, Stoke City Ladies, have won their own final, in the Staffordshire FA County Cup, by beating – Stoke City Ladies.
The first team, who play in the Midlands Combination League, two levels below the new FA Women's League, were holders, but their own reserve team also fought their way through to the final. The winners are dedicating their success to Terry Conroy, the Stoke legend of the '71 and '72 semis (both lost in a replay to Arsenal), who is recovering in hospital after emergency surgery on an aneurysm.
Euell never walk alone
The good cause of the week is the children's charity Jigsaw4U, which has been supported for the past eight years by Blackpool's Jason Euell, who was at the House of Lords last Tuesday to launch a video for the single 'Little Tommy' in which he features.
It is on sale on iTunes as of yesterday with all profits going to Jigsaw4U, a charity that helps young people and their families who have experienced "grief, loss and trauma".
Latest in Sport
Petr Cech demands talks over Chelsea future as Thibaut Courtois begs him to stay – as mentor
Angel Di Maria: Manchester United to push ahead with £50m move for Real Madrid winger
Marcos Rojo to Manchester United: Sporting Lisbon confirm deal with Nani heading back to Portugal on loan
Arsenal player ratings vs Besiktas
Besiktas vs Arsenal player ratings: Alexis Sanchez, Jack Wilshere, Calum Chambers - who was the Gunners star man?
- 1 The way the police have treated Cliff Richard is completely unacceptable
- 2 Michael Brown shooting: Amnesty International sends team within US for first time as National Guard deployed
- 3 Michael Brown shooting: Ferguson police shoot and kill second young black man
- 4 James Foley 'beheaded': Isis video shows militant with British accent 'execute US journalist' – and warns Obama of more to come
- 5 Reading Festival 2014: Tesco branch replaces salad and potatoes for Jagermesiter and vodka
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Crisis? What crisis? A visiting US doctor gives the NHS a rave review
Ukip MEP calls for reintroduction of death penalty on fiftieth anniversary of last deaths
Russell Brand calls for Israel boycott: Comedian urges big businesses that 'facilitate the oppression of people in Gaza' to pull funding
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head