Money makes the world go round and it certainly makes football go round.
Cash, finances, whatever you want to call it, is, at the end of the day the be all and end all in football.
Yes there is sentiment and tradition and other things, but at the end of the day its the pound signs that everyone is after.
But in the modern age, where the financial rewards are so great has the desire for a trophy maybe gone out of the window for some?
All the top teams in the land will say at the beginning of the season, ‘we’re fighting on all four fronts’, and ‘we want to win trophies’.
I don’t disagree with that, but the thing that needs to be done first and foremost to satisfy owners is earn big money.
We’ve seen Manchester United lose their fourth semi final in 12 months this week.
They haven’t lost them on purpose. They’ve gone to win those trophies and fallen short.
The point I’m making is more aimed at competitions like the FA Cup.
Year after year, time and again we’ve seen the FA Cup shunned to one side. Once the pinnacle of English football alongside the Premier League, the FA Cup is like the ugly, annoying sibling.
Always getting in the way as far as the big clubs, and even the middle of the road clubs are concerned.
This is something I can never understand.
You’ll have your powerhouses at the top of the Premier League hunting down the main prize.
Those gunning for that title are driven by going for trophies as well as the financial rewards and when it comes to the Premier League they go hand in hand.
Likewise the Champions League, but in this sense it is a little bit different.
If you’re in it and you win it, again, the finances go hand in hand with the prestige of winning such a famous old competition.
Many clubs won’t win it, they’re happy to just be part of the runners and riders because it still makes the club coffers are bulge.
Gone are the days where finishing fourth is failure. For some clubs, it is massive success because of the money it brings in.
Is that right?
For some, the FA Cup may have lost its shine, but it is still unique.
Like with any trophy, it comes with a sense of success and as we said, prestige.
But unlike the others, it comes without the huge monetary rewards. Last year the winners bagged £6.8 million and this year it has been slashed in half.
For me, that makes the FA Cup unique and for those who win it, more special than ever.
If you win the FA Cup you don’t get the financial rewards to the extent that you do elsewhere.
But you get the honour. The honour of winning the oldest cup competition in the world.
However clubs, or owners, abandon that. All eggs are in one basket, whether that be finishing higher in the table to earn extra finishing money or abandoning the FA Cup to give your side a better chance of survival.
Middle of the road clubs, for example, Newcastle United. A huge club traditionally, but in terms of on the pitch, a middle of the road Premier League club.
They’ll go into the FA Cup, with an outside chance, but an even worse one when they put a second string out.
Imagine Newcastle winning an FA Cup this season. Imagine what it would be like for their hugely loyal fanbase.
And for scores of other clubs, who have been starved of a good cup run because the financial targets have been prioritised, a cup success would leave memories that last for a life time.
Ask a Spurs fan or a Leicester City fan would they prefer to win the FA Cup or qualify for the Champions League.
Or a Burnley or a Brighton fan, who are at risk of relegation every season, whether they would sacrifice a few points for a good run in the cup.
I bet a higher proportion on both sides would say yes.
The FA Cup will always be there, it will still shine to some degree.
But as long as the riches elsewhere are still as great, it will always remain the ugly sibling.
Because, as I said, money makes football go round.