SO THE FA Cup seems not to hold the same appeal to clubs.
SO THE FA Cup seems not to hold the same appeal to clubs. But can the same be said of the fans?
On Merseyside, it would appear not.
Attendances for the competition during the Premier League era hold up in comparison to those before the top division was altered back in 1992.
During the 20 years of the Premier League, Everton have played 38 home FA Cup games with an average crowd of 30,627.
In the 20 years previous to that, between 1973 and 1992, the Goodison outfit hosted 45 Cup matches with an average attendance of 36,801.
Of course, the capacity at Goodison was significantly higher during that period than it is today, and it’s worth taking into account that the crowds in 16 of those matches exceeded the amount of people that can fit into the stadium currently.
It’s much the same story with Liverpool, although it is intriguing to discover Anfield has hosted significantly fewer FA Cup games than Goodison over the past 40 years.
There have been 29 games during the Premier League era, at an average of 37,048. In the 20 years before then, there were 38 games at an average of 39,512.
That Liverpool’s average FA Cup crowd for the past decade exceeds 40,000 illustrates how the tournament remains popular with the Anfield faithful.
Any doubt over the lure of the Cup, though, was surely banished by the clamour for tickets ahead of last April’s Merseyside semi-final at Wembley.
To supporters, at least, the FA Cup still matters.