The Football Association has announced that the 2014 FA Cup Final will be between Manchester United and Barcelona in order to maximise television revenue for the fixture. FA chairman David Bernstein defended the decision to abandon the traditional knock-out format of the FA Cup, explaining, "This change will ensure the greatest Cup competition in the world will attract the worldwide viewing figures it deserves,” before adding, “Not even people from Wigan want to watch Wigan.”
Mr Bernstein confirmed that the showpiece occasion will again take place at Wembley, explaining that “Wembley is the traditional, iconic home of the greatest Cup competition in the world.” A minimum of two semi-finals will also be televised and staged at Wembley, for which the losing teams are yet to be announced.
However, it is understood that a decision on kick-off time for the Final has not yet been made. “It’s a delicate balance between determining the most lucrative arrangement for the FA, and the most inconvenient and expensive time for those who wish to travel to the Final of the greatest Cup competition in the world,” said Bernstein. It is understood that the FA currently favour an early evening start to prevent fans from travelling home after the game but the FA may bow to pressure from Far East television audiences for a 7am kick-off.
The decision on kick-off time is likely to be made by the FA’s consultant on how to really piss off football fans, Sepp Blatter.
(Should have done this a week or so ago, better late than never)