It started so well last season, the sponsorship of the FA Cup by Budweiser led to live coverage on their Facebook page of the Ascot/Wembley FC Extra Preliminary round game. Though one of the downsides of having a drinks company as the sponsor is the exclusion of the under 18s. But other than that it was a good start, and they got a good number watching too.
Much to the disappointment of many that was the last live game they did. No explanation as to why. We didn’t really see their influence again on the FA Cup until the final. Much to the amazement and disappointment of real football fans up and down the country the drinks company dictated that the game be played on a Saturday evening. Even though there was league football taking place that day. So many League 1 and 2 supporters missed the some or all of the game, as they were getting back from a football match. The agreement to this travesty by the Football Association confirms just how poor they are at running the game and understanding football fans.
So we go forward to this season. The FA Cup starts this Saturday. The FA Cup being the dreams of footballers up and down the country. Whilst those playing this weekend, may dream of playing at Wembley, realistically they can only dream of getting a Conference side or of getting in to the first round proper and drawing a league 1 or 2 side.
No doubt this will be the dreams of the players of Wembley FC. However, the American drinks company will shatter some of those dreams by their interference ably aided by the FA Cup. As part of some a Dream On television show, a couple of has-beens who’ve had their time will be brought in. Terry Venables as Technical Advsiser, David Seaman as goalkeeper coach. They’ll be joined on the playing side by Ray Parlour, Martin Keown, Graeme Le Saux, Claudio Caniggia and Brian McBride. Which 5 will be dropped from the Combined Counties League (CCL) team will no doubt annoy the ones who turn up in the rain in front of a few dozen for a normal league game. These helicoptered players won;t be taking part in any CL games.
For what purpose will this serve. Well, no doubt a poor reality type TV show, watched by very few people as dreams are shattered for a few loyal players. If you want to watch a trailer for the programme, then click here. I for one though haven’t watched that clip.
I think many football fans, especially those that have a love for the traditions of the FACup, will be hoping for a Langford win. Langford, by the way, play in the South Midlands Football League.
The Game will be shown live on Budweiser’s Facebook page, and will also be shown by ESPN. Kick off is at 12.45, Saturday 11 August.
Myself, I’m intending to take in Alton Town against Bradford Town. I’ll be reporting on this game on Sunday on Exeweb.