West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper has slammed the Football Association for failing supporters travelling down to the F.A. Cup final on Saturday 5th May.
In correspondence between Network Rail and Rosie, Network Rail state that they notified the F.A. of the engineering works and the travel problems for tens of thousands of fans travelling down from Liverpool to Wembley. They did so immediately following the All-Merseyside F.A. Cup semi-final draw, when it became clear one of the Liverpool teams would be in the final.
According to Network Rail they advised the F.A. against the 5.15pm kick off time. This will mean many fans travelling by train will have to stay overnight in London rather than being able to travel home after the game.
MP Rosie said:
“It is an absolute disgrace that football fans paying a lot of money for tickets and a lot of money for travel are being treated in this way. It doesn’t say much for the planning and organisation ahead of the one of the biggest sporting events in the UK, which has a massive global audience.
“The unwillingness of the F.A. to take the travel situation into account when deciding on kick-off time demonstrates how little they value football fans. F.A. Cup finals are memorable and special occasions because of the fans and the atmosphere they create. Without the fans then it’s just 22 men running round a field after a ball.
“I thought football was all about the fans. Clearly I am mistaken.
“The truth is out. The F.A. get the maximum profit from tickets and TV revenue whilst the fans get to carry the cost of travel, hotels, tickets, the list goes on.
“I’m sure the resourcefulness of the fans means they will get to Wembley. However, shame on the F.A. they seem to have lost focus on what makes the F.A. Cup final so special."