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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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    • 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.


    • 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.

    • 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.

    • As far as I know United have never insisted on moving a match away from the Munich anniversary.
      Liverpool are always acting as 'the injured party', pious little so and sos.
      They should be instructed to play on Saturday. It would be extremely unfair on Chelsea to insist they give Barca/Milan at least a day's advantage in preparation.
      By the way I sincerely hope your lot win both matches!

    • 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).

    • I really don't get see the problem in the situation you are describing.

      Lots of managers are forever telling us what the FA should do. Whether a referee is fit enough, whether the fixture list is sensible, whether punishments are correct or not. So what if Liverpool have asked for a fixture to be moved? The decision is down to the FA and I assume they make their own decisions based on what they think is right rather than simply agreeing to every request Livepool make.

      It would be a problem if you thought Liverpool had undue influence but I don't see any evidence of that - if anything it recently seems that Liverpool in general and KD in particular have been guilty of rubbing the FA up the wrong way.

    • I'm not suggesting they go along with everything Liverpool ask for.

      Your first comment was: "I don't think that the FA should be influenced by any club regarding when fixtures should be arranged." That appears to be what has happened. It seems that the Liverpool fixture was allocated to Saturday because Liverpool asked. Of course, it might have been anyway had Liverpool not asked. But from Chelsea's point of view, who would also prefer to play on Saturday, and your comment above, it looks wrong.


    • Robert what is all this griping over the years any undue influence I have noticed has rotated round the London clubs, and for a long time I have much of what has been asked for outside of london, to be turned down.
      For ages Fergie asked for help with scheduling for Europe and everyone else poo pooed the idea , that is until the London clubs became involved then suddenly it became a good idea, and that has been the general trend over the last few decades at least. On the other hand I don't see why league scheduling should be changed for one club because its an anniversary of some event, perhaps some people who moan should look at fixture congestion from the past, when near enough any change of scheduling was out of the question.

    • It might look wrong to you Robert but, going by the neutral fans who have posted on this thread, you seem to be in minority.

      Either way, I don't see any evidence to support your view that the FA were influenced by Liverpool beyond being asked the question. Do you not think it possible that the FA came to an independent decision?

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