Liverpool have asked the FA to change from Wembley as the venue for their FA Cup semi-final clash with Manchester City with rail engineering works set to hamper fans’ plans to travel down to the capital. However, the FA have made their stance clear and refuse to budge on the game moving from the national stadium, according to reports.
The game is due to take place on April 16, which falls on Easter weekend. Fans are having to come to terms with the news that no trains are running from anywhere in the north west to London throughout the weekend due to works being carried out by Network Rail.
As a result, 70,000 fans will now have to take to the road in order to get to the game under the famous arch, which is likely to cause delays in traffic across the entire M6 motorway. After talks between Liverpool, City and the FA came to light, it was hoped that Liverpool’s request would be accepted to change location to Old Trafford or Villa Park.
But a report by the Mirror understands that the FA are opposed to the idea and a rearrangement is unlikely due to their contract with Wembley Stadium itself. The governing body have a lucrative contract with the stadium and the FA are unlikely to make alternative plans even in a one-off situation such as the one they face at the moment.
The FA are dependent on income from major events, and because this means a huge financial loss they are refusing to budge. That is despite the FA making promising progress with both clubs on the issue, who gave their sympathy to the duo over travel arrangements for the weekend.
It was suggested that the clubs could meet at a neutral venue that is more reasonable to find travel for. However, the report claims that the FA will instead explore routes that will help fans of both teams with travel arrangements.
Extra coaches could be put on in order to help with logistics, but no chartered trains will be sanctioned in line with the repairs being made. Liverpool still believe the best scenario would be to move the venue, and are happy to play at Old Trafford despite City being based in the same city.