Day: July 17, 2010

FA Cup Replays and the Winter Break

Earlier this week, Owen Gibson of the Guardian reported that the FA were considering making a change to the FA Cup (under a banner of revitalisation for the competition) in order to help create a mid-season break, in order to the England squad. The change is one that would seismic across English football, and that change would be scrapping FA Cup replays. Even in the article itself, the suggestion is that the scrapping of FA Cup replays would only free up one midweek date, and that midweek date would be filled by a set of fixtures allowing for a two week break, or in other words, one Saturday off. However, far from revitalising the competition, it may be the beginning of the end for the world’s oldest football competition. In 1991, the FA scrapped the possibility of second replays, and that any tie unresolved after extra time of the second game would instead be decided by penalties. This change wasn’t one of the FA’s making – instead their hand was forced by a police decision whereby forces would now need at least seven days notice, in order to police a replay. It didn’t matter where the game was played, under which force’s auspices the game would come under, the size of the anticipated crowds, and whether the game would be contested by two professional sides or not, a blanket...

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Manchester City Prepare To Turn Hyde Blue

This afternoon at Ewen Fields, the freshly-renamed Hyde FC play Manchester City in a pre-season friendly which may feel more like a home match for City supporters than they might have been expecting. Hyde have had a turbulent time of things over the last twelve months or so, with the club only avoiding liquidation at the last minute at the start of last season. Now, however, they could be forgiven for feeling a little more secure after a sponsorship deal with Manchester City was agreed that will see the Premier League club play its reserve matches at Ewen Fields and Hyde’s shirts sponsored by City In The Community. The changes that have taken place at Hyde this summer, when seen through the prism of this partnership, are somewhat unsurprising. In addition to the name change, Hyde have also changed their colours from red and white to white and navy blue. We can only assume that Manchester City didn’t particularly wish to enter into partnership with a club called “United” that wear red and white. In addition to this, Ewen Fields has been given a lick of paint (in navy blue and grey), and other improvements that Hyde wouldn’t otherwise have been able to afford have been completed. There are arguments to be made on the subject of the loss of the club’s identity, but perhaps the only minor cause...

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