Only 10 of the scheduled 32 FA Cup third round ties have remained in their original and tradition 3pm Saturday slot. The other 22 have all been rearranged and moved for domestic & international broadcast, which, to quote the Football Supporters Federation (FSF), is ‘an astonishing number of games’.
At last week’s Villa Fan Consultation Group meeting, Villa club reps informed us of the planned reduced prices for the home tie against Swansea City, which were later announced at the start of this week.
£10 (adults), £7.50 (concessions*), £7.50 (U21s) and £5 (U18s) across the stadium – while Season Ticket and Half Season Ticket holders will get their ticket free.
No thanks to TV Coverage
What was also mentioned at the meeting was the club had actually turned down an offer to have the game screened on BBC Wales, which would have resulted in yet another FA Cup 3rd round fixture moving time and date.
In this case, the game would have switched to the Sunday, but Villa decided to forgo the proposed TV rights fee to avoid the date change.
The reduced and free pricing and keeping it on the Saturday at 3pm, certainly should help the FA Cup tie against Swansea be more of an occasion.
It was stated in the Villa Fan Consultation Group meeting notes published earlier on MOMS, that the reduced/free pricing was to show ‘the appreciation the club have for the amount it costs to support the club so closely after Xmas”.
Ultimately though a lot will depend on what kind of team Villa Head Coach Dean Smith decides to field. He’s already made some encouraging sounds that Villa will be taking the cup seriously this season though.
“I’ll be letting the players know how important the FA Cup is or any cup competition could be,” said Smith, after the draw was made.
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