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Are Premier League giants ruining the prestige of the F.A. Cup?

Premier League Giants
(Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Are Premier League giants ruining the prestige of the F.A. Cup?

After watching his side struggle to beat Shrewsbury on Sunday, Jurgen Klopp announced that he will not take part in the F.A. Cup replay and none of his senior players will either.

Shrewsbury came from two goals down on Sunday against a young Liverpool team to snatch a draw and a money making replay at Anfield, however that soon died when Klopp announced that, because the replay would take place during the planned break in the Premier League season, neither he or his first team squad would be participating. Instead they will field a side of youngsters managed by under 23 coach Neil Critchley.

What this has essentially done is killed ticket sales causing a loss in revenue to Shrewsbury as it will more than likely not even garner half the attendance it could have had players like Mo Salah, Roberto Firmino or Virgil Van Djik been involved.

I say loss in revenue to Shrewsbury as Liverpool, a club with an annual revenue of £613 million (reported May 2019), will not miss the 50% of income lost from this tie, but for Shrewsbury, a League One side whose profits in 2017/18 was a measly £341,000 their half of a sell out at Anfield could be the difference between breaking even or posting a loss. And this isn’t the first time Liverpool have been in this situation.

In 2008 Luton Town, then in League One, forced a third round replay at Anfield after a John Arne Riise own goal salvaged a draw at Kenilworth Road. According to an Evening Standard article at the time, the administration in charge of the club had asked for the full gate receipts from the original tie and were refused by the Merseyside club. The replay countered this and it was later released that without the money from the replay, which Luton lost 5-0, the club would no longer be here.

Liverpool fans will likely say that Shrewsbury or Luton are not their problem, however if these lower level clubs go the way of Bury FC (the club was folded at the beginning of the season due to financial problems) where will they (along with other Premier League teams) cherry-pick their young academy talent from? Where will they then send these future stars on loan to gain experience?

FIFA 20 Arsenal Career Mode: Episode 28

Klopp, along with a few other Premier League managers are belittling the competition that has been around even before their clubs were founded and the Premier League are fine with it. Now it’s up to the F.A. to step in and do something about it before these Premier League giants make the prestigious F.A. Cup as meaningless as they have made the Carabao Cup.

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