FA Cup: Familiarity Means Indifference

For all of the goodwill that still exists towards the FA Cup, the fact that half of the division will be playing each other makes it very difficult for clubs to attract decent attendances, even if prices are reduced as they have been at the City Ground where Forest and QPR will meet again in the league just three weeks down the line.

The entrance of the top two tiers of English football at this stage and the open nature of the draw is perhaps something that needs to be looked at, especially with five all-Premier League ties also taking place ahead of a full fixture list in the top-flight just a few days later.

Competitions such as the Champions League have draws that are altered to ensure, for example, that no two teams from the same country can meet in the last 16.

Maybe in the FA Cup the draw for the Third Round could see the Premier League teams in a different hat to the other 44 clubs.

Twelve ties (24 teams) could be drawn out of the main hat first of all, leaving 20 teams still in there and 20 top-flight teams who could then be drawn against each other with the Premier League club away from home.