Sunday, 14 February 2010

Bonus FA Cup points to premiership - Middlesbrough stay up!

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Today the attendances were significantly down at a number of the high profile FA Cup games. The beginning of half term with people perhaps taking a few days break, the recession, clusters of games forcing fans to choose which games they go to, no doubt all contributed to the fall in gate numbers. However, many commentators and fans year in year out keep posing the question; has the FA Cup lost its glamour – its magic?

There is something very special about the possibility of a non league minnow playing Chelsea or Liverpool. The mere glimmer of a chance to defeat a mighty champion against all the odds sets pulses racing and in those 90 minutes fans forget their everyday problems and are part of a little piece of history. How can the prospect of such a piece of magic mean that the FA Cup isn’t what it used to be? But the big clubs backed by millionaires and billionaires do degrade the competition by at times playing their reserves.

I see one potential solution as the FA Cup rounds not just deciding who goes through, but also playing for bonus points. That added piece of attraction could make the difference to the Premiership giants deciding to put out their best sides and would mean that they knew they could not afford to dismiss a bad result. Likewise it could make all the difference at the other end of table with teams having a good cup run avoiding relegation. A side entering in the third round would then find that potentially they were playing for another 18 points. That would impact on the league positions in a way that would inject more passion, urgency and belief in playing.

So would it for instance have made any difference to the league places in 2008/09 in say the Premiership?






Team
P
W
D
L
F
A
GD
PTS
1
38
28
6
4
68
24
44
90
2
38
25
11
2
77
27
50
86
3
38
25
8
5
68
24
44
83
4
38
20
12
6
68
37
31
72
5
38
17
12
9
55
37
18
63
6
38
17
11
10
54
48
6
62
7
38
14
11
13
39
34
5
53
8
38
14
9
15
45
45
0
51
9
38
14
9
15
42
45
-3
51
10
38
15
5
18
58
50
8
50
11
38
12
9
17
34
45
-11
45
12
38
12
9
17
38
55
-17
45
13
38
11
8
19
41
53
-12
41
14
38
10
11
17
38
57
-19
41
15
38
10
11
17
40
60
-20
41
16
38
9
9
20
34
54
-20
36
17
38
8
11
19
39
64
-25
35
18
Newcastle
38
7
13
18
40
59
-19
34
19
Middlesbrough
38
7
11
20
28
57
-29
32
20
WBA
38
8
8
22
36
67
-31
32





Taking the FA Cup results for 2008/09 and applying 3 points for a win but not applying any points for a draw (which would have forced a replay and a final outcome), nor adding to the goal difference in the league table would affect the table as below (I think I have done the maths correctly but forgive me if I have made a mistake!):-

Round 3 results for Premiership clubs
Bristol City 0-2 Portsmouth                                                                Portsmouth 3 points
Sheff Wed 1-2 Fulham                                                                        Fulham 3points
Preston NE 0-2 Liverpool                                                                   Liverpool 3 points
West Ham Utd 3-0 Barnsley                                                              West Ham 3 points
Middlesbrough 2-1 Barrow                                                                Middlesbrough 3 points
Newcastle Utd 0-1 Hull City (replay)                                                  Hull 3 points
Hartlepool Utd 2-0 Stoke City
Southend Utd 1-4 Chelsea (replay)                                                     Chelsea 3 points
Man City 0-3 Notts Forest
Peterborough United 0-2  West Bromwich Albion                             WBA 3 points
Southampton 0-3 Man Utd                                                                Man Utd 3 points
Tottenham 3-1 Wigan Athletic                                                           Tottenham 3 points
Arsenal 3-1 Plymouth Argyle                                                             Arsenal 3 points
Blyth Spartans 0-1 Blackburn Rovers                                                Blackburn 3 points
Macclesfield Town 0-1 Everton                                                          Everton 3 points
Sunderland 2-1 Bolton Wanderers                                                     Sunderland 3 points
Gillingham 1-2 Aston Villa                                                                  Aston Villa 3 points

Round 4
Everton 1-0 Liverpool (replay)                                                           Everton 3 points
Man Utd 2-1 Tottenham Hotspur                                                       Man Utd 3 points
Hull City 2-0 Millwall                                                                         Hull City 3 points
Blackburn 2-1 Sunderland                                                                 Blackburn 3 points
Hartlepool 0-2 West Ham                                                                  West Ham 3 points
Arsenal 4-0 Cardiff City                                                                     Arsenal 3 points
Portsmouth 0-2 Swansea City
Chelsea 3-1 Ipswich Town                                                                  Chelsea 3 points
Aston Villa 3-1 Doncaster Rovers                                                       Aston Villa 3 points
Burnley 3-1 West Bromwich Albion
Kettering Town 2-4 Fulham                                                                Fulham 3 points
Wolverhampton Wanders 1-2 Middlesbrough                                   Middlesbrough 3 points

Round 5
Hull City 2-1 Sheffield Utd (replay)                                                      Hull City 3 points
Watford 1-3 Chelsea                                                                           Chelsea 3 points
Middlesbrough 2-0 West Ham (replay)                                               Middlesbrough 3 points
Coventry 1-0 Blackburn Rovers (replay)
Derby 1-4 Man Utd                                                                             Man Utd 3 points
Fulham 2-1 Swansea City (replay)                                                       Fulham 3 points
Everton 3-1 Aston Villa                                                                       Everton 3 points
Arsenal 3-0 Burnley                                                                            Arsenal 3 points

Round 6
Coventry 0-2 Chelsea                                                                           Chelsea 3 points
Fulham 0-4 Man Utd                                                                            Man Utd 3 points
Arsenal 2-1 Hull City                                                                            Arsenal 3 points
Everton 2-1 Middlesbrough                                                                  Everton 3 points

Round 7 - Semi Finals
Arsenal 1-2 Chelsea                                                                            Chelsea 3 points
Man Utd 0-0 Everton (2-4 penalties)                                                 Everton 3 points

Round 8 – Final
Chelsea 2-1 Everton                                                                            Chelsea 3 points

Total extra points
Chelsea                                                  18 points
Everton                                                  15  points
Arsenal                                                  12 points
Man Utd                                                12 points
Fulham                                                    9 points
Hull City                                                 9 points
Middlesbrough                                       9 points
Aston Villa                                              6 points
Blackburn Rovers                                  6 points
West Ham                                               6 Points
Liverpool                                                3 points
Portsmouth                                             3 points
Sunderland                                              3 points
Tottenham Hotspur                                3 points
WBA                                                       3 points
Bolton                                                     0 points
Man City                                                0 points
Newcastle Utd                                        0 points
Stoke City                                              0 points
Wigan Athletic                                       0 points


New Table after FA Cup points Bonus 2008/09

Pos
Club
Points
Change
1
Man Utd
102
Same
2
Chelsea
101
Up 1
3
Liverpool
89
Down 1
4
Arsenal
84
Same
5
Everton
78
Same
6
Aston Villa
66
Same
7
Fulham
62
Same
8
West Ham Utd
57
Up 1
9
Tottenham
54
Down 1
10
Man City
50
Same
11
Blackburn
47
Up 4
12
Wigan Ath
45
Down 1
13
Stoke City
45
Down 1
14
Portsmouth
44
Same
15
Hull City
44
Up 2
16
Bolton
41
Down 3
17
Middlesbrough
41
Up 2
18
Sunderland
39
Down 2
19
WBA
35
Up 1
20
Newcastle
34
Down 2

Overall the table looks very similar but for certain clubs it would have an impact. 

The key changes are that Chelsea move up one to claim the runners up place from Liverpool and crucially Middlesbrough due to its great Cup run avoid relegation and Sunderland go down to the Championship. 

There could be other permutations by including the results of say the League Cup and obviously it would extend to all divisions. This simple but effect bonus system would force managers to take into account the FA Cup as something as important as the Premiership. It would be worth a try out for a season to see how it could shake things up a little and put a bit of extra spice into the oldest footballing cup in the world.

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