4 reasons why the FA Cup is still relevant
After one of the more underwhelming FA Cup finals in recent memory this past weekend – Chelsea defeated Manchester United with a first-half penalty in an overall dull game – the usual questions have arisen. Namely, whether the FA Cup is even relevant any more.
This has been a debate that’s gone on for years now, particularly as the financial rewards for staying in the Premier League – and even more for making the Champions League – have become larger and larger, but despite this year’s dull final match, the oldest competition in football history still has a lot to offer – and here are 5 reasons why.
#1: It can work as a strong consolation prize for a big club
Around a decade ago it felt like just four big clubs – Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool – basically had a monopoly on the Premier League’s Champions League spots, but since the rise of Manchester City and Tottenham, the competition for those places has become tougher with each and every season.
Six into four obviously doesn’t go, and that means that every season, at least two of the so-called ‘big six’ are going to miss out on that lucrative Champions League spot. So with pressure on managers and players higher than ever before, an FA Cup win suddenly seems far more relevant than it was a few years ago.
Sure, winning the FA Cup isn’t the same as qualifying for the Champions League – both from a financial sense and in the sense of the tougher competition Europe’s biggest competition provides – but it can definitely act as a strong consolation prize for a side that does miss out – see Chelsea this season, for instance.
And while an FA Cup win might not have placated Tottenham’s stars like their Champions League qualification has, there are probably a great deal of Spurs fans who would’ve preferred finally winning a trophy to the 3rd place Premier League finish they took.