No Sense of History
The new logo for the FA Cup was unveiled yesterday, or rather it wasn’t, as the FA Cup as we know it is gone. The logo that has been created is for The Emirates FA Cup.
For 143 years and 134 seasons The FA Cup has prided itself on being the oldest football competition in the world, the competition that instigated organised football, the competition that others around the world wanted to copy, THE competition in football. And throughout those years it has proudly (or vainly) referred to itself as The FA Cup. Even during periods of previous sponsorship the competition was known as The FA Cup sponsored by Budweiser or whoever. But not anymore; The FA Cup name no longer exists. Charles Alcock will be spinning in his grave.
In its place is The Emirates FA Cup, a subtle but significant change in the way that the sponsors name has been incorporated into the title of the competition. It is no longer The FA Cup, but a knockout competition funded by an organisation that has absolutely nothing to do with this illustrious competition. Greg Dyke and his FA team will talk about ‘moving with the times’, ‘investment can keep the competition alive’, or ‘prize money can be used to help football at all levels’. Let us not kid ourselves. This decision was all about the money, but it definitely wasn’t about the betterment of the game.
The new logo shows how much influence the sponsors have over the competition with the money invested giving them the right not only to change the name of the competition but also allowing them to give prominence of their name on the logo. Yes, it might appear as a small influence now (although still one that no other sponsor had been able to pull off), but it has major ramifications. If, as it seems, money talks, why would the sponsors stop there? What other changes will they insist upon under the threat of withdrawing their funding? How might they try to affect the competition as a whole, the way the rounds are played, the number of entries, when the ‘bigger’ teams come in, where matches are played?
To some it seems like a small price to pay to give up the name of the competition in order to secure significant funding, but for me it smacks of Greg Dyke and the FA knowing the price of everything, but the value of nothing.