Capital One Cup comment: Let’s hope cash-driven suits don’t have final say (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Capital One Cup comment: Let’s hope cash-driven suits don’t have final say
The Football League insist they will never be bullied into giving up the two-leg semi-final format in the Capital One Cup.
And for that, the money men who rule the game will be truly thankful.
Just imagine if this week’s drama had been one-off shoot-outs and City were ready to walk out at Wembley alongside Swansea.
For the romantic, a final that would surely never come round again. For the advertising executive and TV head honcho, it would represent possibly the ultimate broadcasting nightmare.
In their eyes, there is no way the numbers would stack up. The amount of viewers tuning in for curiosity value would never equal the lost opportunity of selling more Chelsea replica shirts in Shanghai.
Swans versus Bantams? They’ll give that one the bird then.
For now, Sky are rubbing their hands at the prospects of two belting return legs.
There was always the fear, particularly with one League Two participant, that the second matches could be dead rubbers.
If all went to logic, Aston Villa would have won comfortably at Valley Parade and Chelsea would be taking a commanding advantage to south Wales. But football, however hard the men in power try to manipulate it, does not always work out like that. So instead the plot is set up deliciously for two nights of guaranteed fireworks at Villa Park and the Liberty Stadium.
Chelsea and Villa, despite their first-leg bumblings, will still be fancied to put things right at the second attempt. The advertisers will no doubt have everything crossed that they do so.
City have already provided the romance, Swansea the unexpected tweak on the nose for one of the Premier League’s giants. Now the suits in the plush offices, those who spend their days crunching the numbers and counting the cash, will be looking for order to be restored.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful, absolutely wonderful, if the underdogs decided to have another bite?
The tale of two Citys, Bradford and Swansea, would represent the ultimate “up yours” final to those who have taken our game away from the man on the street. Bring it on.