The FA have been vehemently defended in the recent row over choosing Man Utd over Lincoln City for TV recently, a National League insider has contacted The Stacey West to offer an alternative view.
Dan Walker and Gary Lineker both tweeted that once City had got through their third round tie with Ipswich, the BBC had asked to feature that instead of the Man Utd and Blackburn clash. The FA refused leading to many to criticise the decision, including myself.
In a bath-time call last night a source defended the FA, stating that once the ties have been chosen it would be unfair to take a televised tie from one team to give it to another. If we are picked for TV against Burnley, how would we feel if the BBC then chose to screen the winner of Leicester and Derby?
There is some credibility to the argument. Once a tie has been chosen it would seem unfair to cancel it when another option presents itself. It would be hard to see Man Utd as the victims given their financial status compared to ours, but the argument is perhaps more based on principle than finance. Being told you’re on TV, then being told you’re not just days later would seem to be a injustice, irrespective of who you are.
It does pose a question of the BBC though. If they had wanted the chance of showing Lincoln, perhaps they should have chosen our tie first? The broadcasters choose their games, if they’d wanted us they should have gambled on us beating Ipswich even if it meant having an all Championship clash as a consolation prize. It’s all well and good winning brownie points in the days afterwards by claiming you wanted to show Lincoln, but there was clearly little belief we’d get through on their behalf.
I wasn’t too disappointed that the game was an old-school 3pm kick off. Saturday was a wonderful day and had a real cup-tie feel, and being staged at the traditional time helped stoke that atmosphere. Furthermore seeing us feature first on Match of the Day enabled fans at the game to enjoy the coverage on TV as well.
I’m not going to bang on about it anymore, finding negatives with our cup run is like finding a bag full of fifty pound notes and moaning whenever you find one that is torn. It is easy to focus on the negatives, but in perspective we are still in the fifth round, we do still have some money in the bank, and a row between the FA and the BBC is really no concern of ours.
I’ve also warmed to the Burnley draw. Now the disappointment of last night has been considered properly, we are still away at a Premier League club and Burnley is actually a nice club as well. I have been there a few times which at first I considered to be a negative, but whenever I have I found their fans to be as friendly as those of Ipswich Town. It’s a good community club too, and whilst it may not be the headline match we wanted, at least it isn’t Oxford away.
I’m off for a bath now, and I’m hoping the National League don’t call me so I can actually get clean before the water goes cold.