Patronising FA Cup television

HAVEN'T you noticed; It's that patronising time of the year?You know, the first round of the FA Cup, where live television of the competition appears, allowing pundits and commentators to drone on about the non-league game as though it's some sort of strange past-time most have heard of, but none would dare like to admit they have ever seen, or in most cases, played in.

HAVEN'T you noticed; It's that patronising time of the year?

You know, the first round of the FA Cup, where live television of the competition appears, allowing pundits and commentators to drone on about the non-league game as though it's some sort of strange past-time most have heard of, but none would dare like to admit they have ever seen, or in most cases, played in.

It's where the likes of Kettering, Bromley, Paulton Rovers, Lowestoft Town and Bath dare to tread on the same hallowed turf as some of the world's biggest names in football . . . Norwich, Grimsby, Colchester, Wrexham and oh yes of course, Hartlepool.

The whole thing annoys me hugely.


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On Saturday morning, having watched my youngest play football, I caught the second half of Paulton Rovers v Norwich City on the box.

Fair play to Norwich, they were very professional in their approach, but still us non-league fans had to endure the patronising television coverage.

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Can someone for instance tell me why it is considered okay for the Paulton manager Andrew Jones, (who happens to own a flower business don't you know?), to be interviewed on the side-lines for live television (when his side are three down), while no-one from TV land was brave enough to saddle over to the Canaries side of the dug-out to see how Paul Lambert was coping, as his side went seven up.

Let me guess the reason for that? Patronising garbage.

Only Ray Stubbs on the BBC ever had any inkling what non-league was about and you could tell sometimes his disgust as pundits continued to belittle non-league, with such comments as: “Well I suppose as a postman he was up early this morning,” or “If it's a replay, will 'they' be able to get time off work.” Oh and listen to them giggle.

Quite frankly, I would rather the FA Cup was just played between the Premier League teams and let us non-league fans enjoy the Vase and the Trophy.

I know the FA Cup is a money-spinner for non-league sides, but is it worth all the head-patting? I say no, the FA should just give every non-league club, at different Step level, different amounts of cash, starting with �40k for Conference clubs.

Then again, who are the real winners in all this?

The League One and Two clubs who, as we all know, will never actually win the FA Cup, most who have never won ANYTHING, and most who spend year after year after year after year, just keeping their head above water?

Or the full-time builder playing non-league, who has a proper job until he's 60 and can still earn a couple of hundred quid a week playing in the Conference till he's 33?

I know who I think is the winner.

Roll on the fifth round of the FA Cup, when all the non-league teams are long gone and Man U can play Arsenal, while Bolton can entertain 'just like watching Brazil' Stoke City.

And at last us non-league fans can be left in peace.

Keep in touch with Mike on Twitter (www.twitter.com Mike_Bacon)

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