Sunday, May 31, 2009

The 2009 FA Cup Final: Money Power wins again

So, what a surprise. Another major trophy won by a member of the Big Four. All the tv experts tried to put forward explanations as to why Chelsea beat Everton in yesterday’s FA Cup Final. But the reason could be put down to one word: Money.

Chelsea’s vastly superior wealth means they can buy the best players-like Didier Drogba, Frank Lampard, Michael Essien and Michael Ballack. Chelsea's side was assembled at a cost of £330m. Everton's cost £90m.

Money Power doesn’t make life more exciting-it does exactly the opposite. It means that all our towns and cities look the same: a Starbucks, Pizza Express or Macdonalds on every corner. It means our leading political parties all have the same pro-capital policies. And the same teams win all the football trophies.

The facts speak for themselves: all but two of the last 18 FA Cup finals have been won by one of the ‘Big Four’. The last five Carling Cup finals have been won by the Big Four and since Middlesbrough won the 2003/4 Carling Cup, only one side from outside the Big Four (Portsmouth) has won a major trophy in England. (correction: two sides from outside the Big Four have won trophies since '04, as Robin Carmody reminds me in the comments section, Tottenham won the '08 Carling Cup).

On the same theme- there’s a great piece by Rod Liddle in today’s Sunday Times, which says it all:

For the first 11 years that I watched the FA Cup final, 11 different teams won the trophy, beginning and ending with those likeable, stalwart also-rans, West Bromwich Albion and Ipswich Town. In the past 14 years a grand total of five different clubs have won the tournament; the interlopers being Portsmouth.

When are football fans- regardless of the teams they support- going to come together and say ‘enough is enough’ of this boring, predictable nonsense?


robin carmody said...

Irony of ironies that such a piece appeared in a Murdoch paper!

Tottenham won the Carling Cup last year, but although they're not considered part of the current "Big Four", they certainly were part of the 1980s/early 1990s "Big Five" (along with Everton and all the current "Big Four" except Chelsea, who were on their uppers then) and can be considered footsoldiers, at least, of the game's new elite.

Sportsbettingcentre said...

What's particularly frightening is that the "little" Premier League sides don't prioritise the FA Cup any more because their squads are too small to accommodate that and the league at the same time. So it's a team from the Big Four or one from the Championship next year I guess?