Monday 5th December, 7:10pm. That is when the draw for the 3rd round of the FA Cup took place. It was included around 10 minutes later.
Roll forward 3 days and every fan who supports a team in the cup are still none the wiser as to when they are playing. And it is all due to the TV companies.
Games are scheduled to be played between Friday 6th January to Monday 9th January – 6 games will be shown live on BBC or BT Sport.
It is an utter disgrace that they have not yet been announced. Fans are waiting to book trains, book hotels, and even book days off work if you are unlucky enough to be on the Friday or Monday. The delay in announcing the games shows once more that match going fans are not seen as important.
The long the TV companies take, the more expensive trains will be, the more expensive hotels will be, and the less likely a boss will authorise the holiday.
It is baffling why the TV companies have not yet announced the games. It is fairly obvious who they will pick:
Manchester United v Reading will be on TV. Man U always are when it comes to the FA Cup as the TV companies take advantage of being able to show the most popular club in England. It has been over 10 years since Man U were not shown on TV. You actually feel sorry for their fans.
It is also likely that the BBC will pick Everton v Leicester for the sole reason that Gary Lineker played for both. Imagine the banter the MOTD boys will be having for that one. Leave me out.
The biggest all Premier League clash is West Ham United v Manchester City. The first FA Cup game to be held at the Olympic Stadium. It will be televised.
The TV companies are always trying to pick the story, guess the giant killing. For that reason, Preston North End v Arsenal and Liverpool v Plymouth Argyle OR Newport County will be shown. Watch the TV companies not care about fans and send Plymouth up to Liverpool on Monday night.
Lastly, the TV companies often like showing an all lower league game to show that they are supporting the lower leagues. Sutton United v AFC Wimbledon will be that game. The Surrey Derby. Just 5 miles split the two teams.
The TV companies need to get their fingers out of their arses and let us know when we can book our trains for.