Today we hear from Paul Ellix – STAR Board Member
STAR welcomes the supporters of both Nottingham Forest and Reading to the Madejski Stadium for this afternoon’s match, which, if the weather had not taken a hand, would have been the return fixture. Instead, we still have the trip to Nottingham to enjoy in eleven days’ time. It was a year ago, on 12 January 2019, that we met Forest last – a valuable two nil win for Reading in Jose Gomes first game in charge.
We appreciate and thank both Reading FC and Blackpool FC for agreeing to discount the admission fees to the third round match last Saturday and also for the replay next Tuesday. I am not sure what else they could have done to try to attract supporters, as it was clear, following the heavy Christmas and New Year league schedule, that a large number of personnel changes to the teams were going to be made. Crowds seemed to be low at most of the cup games over the weekend, which is a shame as the FA Cup is a prestige tournament, with the third round being a highlight. It needs to remain so and the FA has responsibility for ensuring that it does.
Although, equally worrying though is the FA decision, predominantly in order to suit overseas television broadcasters, to move a substantial number of the kick-off times away from the traditional three o’clock on Saturday slot.
Tom Greatrex, deputy chair of the Football Supporters’ Association and supporter representative on the FA Council, has written, “The FA is the custodian of the Cup, and quite apart from the detrimental impact on supporters, players and clubs of such a fragmented round of fixtures, in its drive for short term revenue, the FA may find it is making the competition less attractive to sponsors, broadcasters and commercial partners than they realise.”
“If the Cup is not to be irretrievably devalued, then the FA must pay more than lip service to protecting the heritage of the original Cup competition.” It is a sentiment with which we should agree wholeheartedly.
Back in December we asked for volunteers with social media or administration skills and an interest in helping us. We are extremely pleased with the response from supporters and would like to thank those who have put themselves forward. However, if you were considering volunteering, but have yet to do so it’s not too late. Please drop us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we shall get back in touch with you as soon as we can. Particularly we are looking for supporters who are able to help with events, social media or membership/online travel administration.
STAR’s Reading FC Hall of Fame
Finally, a reminder to supporters to pencil in Monday, 23 March 2020 for our latest Hall of Fame event.