Author Archives: Puddleglum

Cup money

The FA Cup replay this evening is a big game for SolihullMoors and Blackpool. Some of the magic of the Cup may have departed for the bigger teams but it is still there in the early rounds when teams compete toget through to the third round and a chance to play a big club.   TheMoors and Blackpool are competing for a chance to play Arsenal. 

Read more 

There’s also the money, of course. TV money, gate receipts and prize money from the FA Cup are not important for Premier League clubs; they get far more from playing in the League.  But FA Cup money can make a tremendous difference for clubs lower down the pyramid.  For example, an article on the maths behind a jackpot FA Cup run reported:

“Warrington Town’s 2014-15 FA Cuprun made them around 70% more than their income for the whole of the previousseason. By far the biggest chunk of this came from their televised ties againstExeter and Gateshead.”

The same article reported that Arsenal’s winning cup run in 2013-14 made them £4.2 million but that was only 2% of their revenue for that season. This helps to explain why some of the bigger clubs don’t take the Cup too seriously and don’t use their best players in the early rounds.

Money is also the reason why only 10 of the 32 third-round FA Cup games will start at 3 pm on Saturday, 5 January. The FA has arranged a new £820m overseas TV contract and some of the games will be moved to different times because of this. Malcolm Clarke, the chair of the Football Supporters Federation, is quoted as saying,

“The third round of the FACup on the first Saturday in January was always one of the great highlights ofthe season, and to have less than one third of the games kicking off at threeo’clock on Saturday definitely to some extent diminishes the magic of theday,”

The 12.30 kick-off for Birmingham’s game against West Ham will also mean an early start for fans travelling down to London on the day. 

In the last game I watched, I saw my team lose but didn’t see them stop making an effort. In the game at Blackburn, they showed their character by the way they came back to get a draw. I believe that anything can happen in the Cup and that we could beat West Ham.  Moors fans will have similar feelings today and will have been dreaming about watching Arsenal play in their stadium. I hope their dreams and mine come true. There is still some magic in the FA Cup.


Read more

More than eleven

Solihull Moors FC has a great slogan: Moor than eleven. Every successful football team has more than eleven involved in that success. Yesterday evening, the Moors earned a replay against a team from higher in the pyramid. That was achieved by players, coaches, other staff and fans too. It was also one of the more exciting no-score draws I’ve watched. Continue reading

Values

On Heritage Open Day, Bournville Junior School was one of the places that was open and I was able to visit the school I attended as a child. I saw my name written in a book recording when I had started and left the school and I walked around looking at displays and posters. The poster on values listed the values that I could remember being taught by that school and by my parents. Continue reading

Glad

I’m glad there’s a game to go to this evening.  Watching a game is usually better than reading online articles that regurgitate what others have already written about what a mess the club is in and a possible 12-point deduction. Even watching our last home game against QPR, which was not very good, was better than reading some of the rubbish that gets circulated on social media. Continue reading

Exceeding expectations

How fans react to the result of a game depends a lot on their expectations before it. I don’t think I was the only Birmingham City fan who felt fearful before our game with Swansea and that helped me to feel satisfied with the goalless draw.  We played better, created more chances and should have won but we just couldn’t score. But it was the most entertaining goalless draw I’ve seen.   Continue reading

Thoughts on the Norwich game

Norwich’s last-minute equaliser left me feeling very disappointed as I walked away from St Andrew’s on Saturday but I’m feeling better now I’ve calmed down a bit. We didn’t lose and Garry Monk is still with us. He has acknowledged that the club is facing adversity and said that his job is “to lead us through that and onto better and brighter days”. I think Birmingham City fans will respond to that kind of message. Continue reading

Hong Kong

Hong Kong is an amazing kaleidoscope of tall buildings, mass transit trains, trams, buses, cars, handcarts and people.  There are lots of people in a hurry, going places, but there are also small parks dotted around the city for those who want to pause and be refreshed. There’s food, glorious food including some I fancied, the papaya and red onion salad was a favourite, and food that I didn’t try such as seahorses. Continue reading