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  • Robert M Robert M Mar 27, 2012 23:29 Flag

    Question for neutrals

    ...and non-neutrals, but the non-neutrals will probably split down club lines.

    Some days ago Liverpool asked the FA if their FA cup semifinal could be held on the Saturday, as the Sunday is the anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster. The FA apparently agreed. Now Chelsea are saying they don't want to be scheduled for the Sunday because they may be involved in a CL semi final the following Wednesday against opponents who probably had their previous fixture played earlier.

    So what should have happened? Should the FA gave agreed to LFC's request or done something else?

    I note that when the request was agreed there were still six clubs still in the competition.

    I have my views but I'm interested in hearing others first.


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    • It’s not the first time a fixture request has been asked for, and granted, and doubt it will be the last time either, whether for emotional reasons or any other. If all parties, the clubs involved and the FA are okay with it why not. The question is would a change in fixture date present any particular hardship on any club, their supporters, or others that make football happen.

      Changing the Liverpool semi final from Sunday to Saturday obviously did not; it just meant a switch of the two games. The request was also put in early enough so that arrangements could be easily made for tickets or fan travel etc.

      I'm not sure if the Chelsea request should be honored or not. Switching to a Friday is not the same as switching to the other weekend day. But as both clubs are in London, if it’s an evening game it may not be a major hassle for supporters. However TV may not view it as kindly and they are a major player in the decision.

      But I'm not sure it’s a terrible hardship for Chelsea. Maybe not ideal to play on a Sunday then a Wednesday, but its not as if that is unheard of. Besides was it not you who suggested Liverpool should just lump it as all clubs get stuck with fixture congestion when I thought the league was a bit harsh in not entertaining a fixture change in the league cup when we had to play the late game Sunday followed by a trip to London to face your lot on the Tuesday. I had suggested maybe the Utd game should have been moved to the Sunday and we got the Saturday slot, as Utd were not scheduled to play their league cup match until Wednesday. Mind you it worked out as the two rested clubs, yourselves and Utd got dumped out, while we went on to Wembley.

      Maybe you think it’s unfair if one club asks and gets, while another does not. Maybe as a few on here have suggested an emotional anniversary is not a real reason and we should just get over it (wonder if they'd say the same thing about their own clubs past tragedies?). But the fact of the matter is I highly doubt Liverpool would have shown up if we'd been forced to play on the Sunday. The fact we play Everton, who have always been our fierce rivals, it might have meant a forfeit, but as the Hillsborough anniversary in facts does impact much more than just LFC, and to Everton's credit, is something most of their fans have recognized has united the city if not the entire footballing world, I think you'd find the Sunday match would have ended up being abandoned for two teams not showing rather than a forfeit, so maybe the FA were just being practical.

      • 3 Replies to dsteer_lfc_68
      • Dave

        You seem to be following and supporting Dalglish's line that Liverpool shouldn't and won't play on the Hillsborough anniversary. Correct me if I'm wrong.

        What do you think LFC should do about the Heysel anniversary? Out of these options:
        1. Refuse to play
        2. Ask to play a different day
        3. Play, with a recognition of the date
        4. Business as usual
        5. Other


      • you may have noticed that the Munich anniversary has impact on whether we complete a fixture or not, you may also note that the anniversary of the Ibrox disaster doesn't stop rangers fulfilling a fixture on that date, do you need more examples Dsteer ? but as you say I think that sky has a great deal of influence in the matter...too much if you ask me

      • I think the key sentence in that is if all parties are okay with it, why not. This applied to the CL semi final second leg three years ago which was moved from the Wednesday to the Tuesday with agreement from Chelsea and UEFA. That's fine.

        However, this time it appears to have been done without the agreement of the other clubs. So Chelsea have been bounced into the date they didn't want. My view is that the FA shouldn't behave like this. Treat all clubs the same.

        Switching to the Friday is a complete non-starter. I don't know what RdM was thinking when he suggested that. If for some reason it was decided neither match should be on the Sunday, then a more practical solution, in my view, would be to play the Liverpool match on the Saturday at old Trafford. Make it a different time to the Chelsea game and everyone is happy, aren't they?


    • From what you say it would appear that liverpool made their request first and given the emotional nature of the date its easy to understand why they made that request. As for chelsea, a Sunday game followed by a Wednesday game isn`t unheard of in the premiership so from that point of view they aren`t being asked to do anything they haven`t been asked to do in the past. Now if their possible CL semi-final was on a Tuesday they would have a much better case. Bottom line is fixture pile up like this are the price you pay for being involved in more than one competition.

      • 2 Replies to A Yahoo! User
      • I don't have a huge objection to playing on the Sunday. My objection is that our match is scheduled on the Sunday because some other club asked to play on the Saturday. If LFC had made no request or if the request had been ignored and the matches were drawn randomly so Chelsea played on the Sunday, fair enough. But I don't think LFC should have their request honoured with no reference to anyone else. Being first to make it is irrelevant.


    • Thank you people for your views. No sympathy for Chelsea, which doesn’t surprise me terribly, and doesn’t bother me either, but I think the main point has been missed. This is how the FA should organise fixtures and approach requests for changes by clubs.

      The first principle should surely be that fixtures should be arranged to be fair to all teams, and particular teams not be given advantage over others. There are some established exceptions to this: the bigger clubs enter the FA Cup later, those playing in Europe enter the League Cup later, clubs playing Thursday in Europe play Sunday in the league. But beyond this, clubs normally can’t expect to have their matches re-arranged to suit some wish. And clubs whingeing about fixture congestion don’t normally get a hearing.

      Occasionally, a club wants to re-arrange a match for a particular reason. Bolton wanted not to play Villa last week. So what should happen?

      My view is that if a club has a particular request for the FA, before the FA agrees it should get the views of any directly affected clubs. With Bolton vs Villa it should ask Villa if it had any objections. You would expect Villa not to. Likewise, Blackburn said that if Bolton wanted to reschedule the match on Saturday, that would be fine. This seems the right way to go about it.

      But if the other club objects, what should happen? Well, in general, the match should go ahead as originally scheduled. It is for clubs to fit into fixture lists, not fixture lists to fit into clubs.

      Liverpool don’t want to play on 15th April. Three years ago the CL semi-final second leg with Chelsea (the famous 4-4 draw) was scheduled for 15th April. Liverpool asked UEFA and Chelsea if it could be played the day before and they agreed and it was.

      This time, LFC asked the FA if their FA Cup semi-final could be on the Saturday and the FA agreed, apparently without asking the other affected clubs. There were five other clubs at the time as two of the quarter final matches hadn’t been resolved. As it happens Chelsea would rather have played on the Saturday too, to give more preparation time in the event of playing in the CL semi the following Wednesday. It seems Chelsea weren’t given the chance to object. If they had been asked and if they had objected I think the FA should have given the objection equal weight with the LFC request, and determined the dates as if there had been no requests. For the FA to get into the situation of deciding that one club’s request is more important than another’s is surely the wrong thing to do.

      Kenny Dalglish (who has untold admiration from me for how he handled everything in 1989) is reported in the Guardian to have said: "I don't think it's even worth a line in a paper that we might play on the 15th because we won't. We've never played on the 15th before, have we? So there you are. Why would they change now?" Ignoring yet another example of the piss-poor public relations that Dalglish seems to have made his trademark this season, it is surely not up to Liverpool FC to determine when they play matches. The rulebook should surely not be “Matches will be held when the FA says except that Liverpool FC won’t play on 15th April.” What if United don’t want to play on the anniversary of Munich, Chelsea don’t want to play on the anniversary of the death of Roman’s mother, and so on?


      • 2 Replies to Robert M
      • My view is the FA should'nt grant any club any special favour's if it's just so they have a better chance for individual success...From what I understand, Chelsea asked to play on the Friday, with no thought to the fan's...Im a Spur's fan, and Friday's should be a night out after a week's work, and the week-end is for football...Three day's should be plenty of time to recover for any match, IMO...

      • I think you're broadly right Robert ...

        I don't think that the FA should be influenced by any club regarding when fixtures should be arranged. I think they should make up their own mind on fixtures regardless of what Kenny, Roberto, Sir Alex or anyone else says.

        That said, isn't that what has happened here? The FA have made a decision. Why should they now consult Chelsea about it?

        Finally, your initial point of "No sympathy for Chelsea, which doesn’t surprise me terribly" seems odd given that your post referenced a Chelsea v Liverpool example on a Utd board. You asked for neutral views and it seems you have received them (with me as the exception).

    • How about a better solution:

      The FA quits this "semis at Wembley" bollo€ks and lets both teams play (at a neutral ground) on the Saturday.

      Once again, 2 northern teams will have to travel to London when they could simply use Old Trafford or the Etihad, with the other semi at the Emirates.

    • Still, it would be a reasonable enough request I think. Yets what goes around comes around and people who postpone games because there are 3 snowflakes on the ground can't expect to have their way all the time...eh Chelski.

    • Hi Robert

      Thanks for the summary. Here are my views:-

      1. Agree with the principle. As for the suspicion, I don't see any evidence to confirm it.
      2. Agree
      3. Disagree. Up to the FA to decide and base their decison on what they think is right. If that involves talking to both clubs then that's fine but they shouldn't have an obligation to do so.
      4. Disagree. The FA should decide.
      5. Agree but not sure how you make it so.
      6. Agree.

    • I've said a number of times I'm not terribly bothered about Chelsea playing on the Sunday. It's the being bounced into playing on the Sunday that bothers me. As for bleating more than SAF, I think a better comparison would be that I, and Chelsea, are bleating rather rather less than Dalglish did earlier in the season about having insufficient rest between games.

      As for Heysel, yes, you're right it's because it wasn't Liverpool fans who died that day. You care to remember Liverpool fans who died, but not other fans who died, in good part due to bad actions of Liverpool fans. If LFC wants to honour the Hillsborough victims quietly and privately, good for them. But if it wants the rest of us to give the grief a special status, I'd be more impressed if I saw a bit of public concern for the Heysel victims too.


    • Why didn't I post it on the Liverpool board? Two reasons.

      The main one is that the question wasn't about Liverpool, or Hillsborough, or Chelsea. It was about the FA and how it should go about organising fixtures. I wanted to know if other people thought the FA had gone about things the wrong way. This board is the best board for that sort of question becasue it has the largest number of contributors, and supporting more clubs. It doesn't seem as if people do think the FA got it wrong, whatever they think of Liverpool or Chelsea. Or maybe they don't care, and just see it as Robert bleating.

      The second reason is because anything that can be seen as challenging LFC over Hillsborough, if put on the Liverpool board, is simply going to bring down a ton of shit on the person who puts it there. Despite what you and others sometimes think, that's not my aim. My question about the FA would simply get lost in the storm in a way I (incorrectly) thought it wouldn't here.


    • Robert, after my last post I was hoping you'd put this one to bet, but I do have one question.

      Why did you not post this on the Liverpool board, and only here? I know you wanted views from Neutrals, but have more than actively engaged and tried to stir debate with people who as Liverpool supporters are not neutral.

      Were you expecting a more sympathetic reaction from Utd supporters? You got the expected from some, those who think Hillsborough is not worth remembering, or if it is only as an ongoing sick joke throw at Liverpool supporters (thank god they are in the minority), even though I'm sure they'd be the first to complain if any one raised a tragedy related to their own club.

      Were those the thoughts you wanted to stir?

    • I'm not terribly upset. I just feel the FA shouldn't be hindering other clubs by pandering to Liverpool. Other than with Dalglish's arrogant comment above, I'm not upset with Liverpool.

      And no, I'm not trying to bait you, I'm just expressing what I think. People other than Liverpool fans should be able to express views on Hillsborough and Heysel too.


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