Thursday, 10 May 2012


I rather glibly wrote yesterday that "Sunderland were never in trouble" but Peter Webb reminded me that Sunderland did struggle in the early part of the season, being as low as 17th after 14 matches and trading at 4.5. Steve Bruce was sacked on November 30th, and under new manager Martin O'Neill took 13 points from the next possible 18, and cruised into the top half of the table.

Peter's post today was called "Has the FA Cup lost it's appeal?" I'm not sure where the apostrophe came from, but the answer is that the FA Cup is not what it was.

When I was a boy, the FA Cup Final was one of those rare occasions when you could watch a live football match on TV, albeit in black and white in my case. The country may not have ground to a halt for it, but it was a big deal. Saturday morning TV was all Cup Final related, and then live pictures of the team coaches leaving the Selsdon Park Hotel or later, crawling up Wembley Way.

Nowadays the Final is just one of many games available from around the world at the press of a button. Manchester United's decision in the Summer of 1999 to decline the opportunity to defend their trophy, effectively downgrading the tournament to second-class status behind the Champions League and the League.

Peter drew attention to the fact that:  

At the start of the FA CUP final there was matched bet volume of £3,533,632. On Tuesday night the same teams met again in the premier league and the matched bet volume at the start of the match was £4,784,666.
The League game took place on a night where there was nothing else worthy of attention, while the FA Cup clashed with a busy schedule of matches across Europe. Casual punters looking for a fun bet while watching the match on TV probably spent their cash at the bookies, whereas the shrewder exchange investor, think XX Draws, would have been winning money in Italy and Spain.Or losing it in Germany.

Back in 1967, there was almost no newspaper coverage of foreign leagues, ok - Scotland got a mention, and there was no TV coverage at all.

Tony has assigned me some homework for the summer.
Hi Cassini, this might have been covered before but if you have stats available, can you tell me how many times this season a team has been odds on away from home and failed to win? Can you provide a breakdown for each of the big leagues you monitor and can you go back more than just this season?
Like I say, it may have been touched upon but other than the odd one or two team there aren't many that win more than 50% of their away games but I don't know if they win over 50% of the games in which they are odds on.

Possibly one for your friendly tipster table?

I like marshmallows and I always burn my mouth if I toast them as I don't wait for them to cool.
I'll take a look when the games are all done. 


Peter Webb said...

I've corrected my title, thanks.

I realise tha FA CUP clashed but was just suprised that it didn't hit any sort of number I expected. I doubt I will try to trade it next year.

Cricket Betting Blog said...

I too believe that the FA Cup is now a 2nd class tournament, I remember only too well how it was the biggest prize you could win when my team, Coventry City, won it in 1987 - what has happened to them since? :(

The line that I usually trot out during this debate in the pub, is that years ago teams rushed back their best players from injury to play in FA Cup games, such was there importance. These days, the best players don't even get put on the bench at some clubs, let alone start, let alone rushed back from injury.