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At least you can get to an FA Cup final


Followers of my editorials and my content at KopTalk.TV will know that I’m still an advocate for the domestic cups. While the modern day fan has turned into a snob who cares only about a Top 4 finish and the Champions League, I still get enjoyment from tournaments such as the FA Cup.

It goes without saying that we have to chase the lucrative money that comes with the Champions League and the best players that follow if you’re a Champions League club, but that doesn’t mean that you have to forget what the club is supposed to be about i.e. winning as many trophies as possible.

I don’t usually remember a Top 4 finish but I remember all the finals I have attended with friends or loved ones, especially those who are no longer walking with me.

I was fortunate enough to be at Anfield the last time Liverpool were crowned league champions (yes, I’m that old!) and while it was a momentous occasion, it was nowhere near as exciting as watching the Reds secure silverware at places such as Wembley and Cardiff. Obviously I’d rather win the league but today’s modern fan only seems interested in the Champions League. I’m interested too. I love it. But I haven’t turned my back on the other competitions.

It’s been a while since Liverpool won a trophy so I’ve always hoped to see us progress in the domestic cup competitions in the hope of winning something. For us to reach the Champions League final this year has been incredible. Few would have expected to have achieved that last summer when we were arguing over how important the net spend was when criticising our absent owners; not so absent owners now that Liverpool are going to Kiev though. To secure a 6th European Cup would be AMAZING! Coming runners-up would also still be seen as a successful season by many observers.

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I have tickets for the Champions League final but I won’t be going. There’s no way I’m shelling out thousands of pounds to go and watch millionaires kick a bag of wind around. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to go but the costs in getting there are just unrealistic. There are more deserving Reds who do deserve to be there than me, people who have been season ticket holders for 30+ years for example that I read about last night on Twitter in the hundreds of replies to Liverpool FC CEO Peter Moore following a tweet about the controversial club partner Thomas Cook (that’s another editorial in itself!). I read so many comments by people who have failed to secure tickets despite their decades of unconditional support which often includes attending every game possible in every competition. Even if you manage to get a foot in the door, imagine going to all the games with your partner for then only one of you to be successful in obtaining a ticket. Who wants to go to a game of football across Europe on your own. It might be alright for young uns with lots of mates that are going but I don’t think it’s really an option for most people.

Peter, along with Liverpool’s Head of Club and Supporter Liaison Tony Barrett, took an absolute coshing online yesterday. I have no doubt that both men would love to see everyone secure tickets but how UEFA deal with things isn’t their doing. Some would argue that the way the club deals with tickets is still a shambles and that the club is more concerned about being diverse and welcoming than it is about dealing with mass problems. Nobody should feel unwelcome at a game of football of course but I’m sure the complaints of such are far outweighed by the thousands of supporters who just feel shafted by the way the club does things.

Staying with Twitter comments and feeling unwelcome, I couldn’t help but note that out-of-town supporters were once again being blamed for there not being tickets for local fans. Does it matter? Even if you have a ticket you’ll struggle to get to Kiev whether you live in Liverpool or live in Libya. But yeah, blame the OOT fans if it makes you feel better but don’t forget that without them, Liverpool wouldn’t have the money to even participate in the Champions League.

Money, you’ll need lots of it if you intend to go to this Champions League final. Never mind the owners or the millionaire footballers, you need to be a millionaire yourself to finance the flights and the accommodation. No seriously, you do. The working class man can’t afford to go to games like this and neither can young supporters. In saying that, I’m neither working class or young and I still can’t afford to throw the money required to attend a game so far away. I suppose this is where you point out that thousands of ordinary Reds will attend the game who aren’t millionaires. True, but I can guarantee you that the majority will be paying for it on credit and they’ll be paying it off over the next year or two.

I guess I could find the money to pay for the flights and to pay for the accommodation but I’m not going to. There comes a point when you just have to say ‘enough is enough’, just like the many thousands of football supporters who are cancelling their Sky Sports and BT Sport subscriptions each week.

The modern fan craves for the Champions League and now they’re paying for it, literally. Directors, managers, players and agents become richer while ordinary football fans are having to dig deeper and deeper. And they still want to introduce a European Super League? Are they having a laugh? Who can afford to go to Juventus away and Barcelona away every couple of weeks? They’re absolutely deluded. Utter clowns, the lot of them.

Former Liverpool manager Roy Evans, a real legend, one of the Anfield old guard, a top, top, top bloke if ever there was one, hit out at UEFA this week calling them ‘official ticket touts’ and he’s right. If only those in privileged positions at Anfield had the guts to come out and publicly back him.

Am I whining because I can’t go to the final? Well the last Champions League final Liverpool was involved with saw me charter a plane for the KopTalk members. If my memory serves me right, I think it only cost a couple of hundred to fly with us. There was certainly no profit in it for myself or the website. In fact, the money we could have pocketed was spent on paying for some free seats i.e. give-aways. I could get to Kiev if I really wanted to, it’s just the principle of it all. I’ll happily sit back and watch the match from the comfort of my home knowing that my money isn’t going to people who care absolutely nothing for me or my fellow fans.

I can’t get my head round why they can’t make a decision around where to host these games closer to the actual event. This game should have been played in France, not bloody Ukraine. At least it would be a bit more realistic for the supporters of both clubs.

A couple of tanks of fuel and a journey to Wembley and back the same day is what most fans can afford. Those that plunge themselves further into debt for a game of football with extortionate flights and accommodation are idiots. “But I love the club!” Well, sorry to break it to you, but the club doesn’t love you. It’s not the club or the game it used to be. Stay at home. Watch the match with the people who actually matter either at home or down your local. Nothing can compensate for actually being there, I get that, but there comes a point when you just have to say ‘this is ridiculous’.

Give me an FA Cup final any day. At least you can get there.

Duncan Oldham
KopTalk Editor

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