Opinion: 'Big mistake' made in ticket price for Portsmouth v Barnsley Cup tie
I really want the FA Cup to prosper and be the centrepiece of the season it used to be.
But even I, one of its most ardent supporters, have to admit that’s unlikely.
I do think it can still be a magical competition for smaller clubs. Having been involved in Chichester’s amazing run from the extra preliminary stage to the second round this year, you cannot underestimate what it can do for non-league clubs who do well.
But at the top end of football, it’s not what it was.
It will almost certainly be won by one of the top six or so clubs in the Premier League, but there are too many top-flight clubs who place no value in it. You only need to look at the number of PL clubs that went out in round three to realise that.
I’ve long thought that if it were down to each club’s fans to decide on priorities, more ‘also-ran’ PL teams would have a serious go at winning the Cup.
But if you look at average crowds for Cup games, particular when a side is at home to a lower-ranked outfit, you can’t even be so sure of that any more.
Pompey seem still to regard the FA Cup as a competition in which they want to do well. Kenny Jackett and bosses before him have not weakened Cup line-ups.
But I can’t help thinking Fratton’s powers-that-be have made a big mistake with their pricing policy for the fourth round clash with Barnsley.
We don't know yet if their hands have been tied by the Tykes, but an adult ticket price of £24 is steep and will surely keep many away.
Kids getting in for £7 is fair but many youngsters may not get the chance because their parents won’t pay £24.
Given this is effectively a bonus game for Pompey, why not charge adults £10 or £15? We await the club’s explanation of why that would be such a bad idea.