The sky is blue over red Manchester

Manchester City's expensively assembled line-up celebrate their FA Cup success.

If repeated on television, the above sentence would make little sense as a weather forecast. However, had you placed a sizeable amount on Manchester United and their nouveau-riche neighbours, City, being crowned Premier League and FA Cup winners in the same day, this is what you might have said.

The weekend’s results taught us two major lessons; firstly, that money can buy you love, happiness, and a team capable of not only qualifying for the Champions League but ending the Sky Blues’ 35 year wait for a major trophy. Secondly, that the FA remain hell-bent on bringing English football into ever-increasing disrepute.

The decision to host the FA Cup Final, the show-piece match of the season, on the same day as a vital round of Premier League fixtures, is highly questionable at the very least. No matter the problems with scheduling, fixture congestion and players wanting to start their end-of-season breaks early, the FA Cup Final should have had its own day.

For Stoke City fans, who let’s face it probably aren’t accustomed to being the centre of attention, and Manchester City, who despite the egregious sums of money spent constructing their trophy-winning side, still deserve their moment in the sun, the day was almost certainly that little bit less special.

Naturally few City supporters will care, and most will probably still be on cloud nine, but for me the scheduling of this year’s Final has set a precedent. The precedent is that Premier League football, and the money pot with which it is indellibly associated, can override any tradition, and that nothing is sacred anymore if there is sufficient money deployed against it. What a pity.

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