Managers unfazed by FA Cup rebrand
Published 01/05/2015 | 15:31
Rebranding the FA Cup would not take away any of the romance from the world's oldest knockout football competition, according to Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.
The Football Association insists no sponsorship deal has been finalised for the FA Cup, which has been without a main sponsor since the previous contract with Budweiser expired, but a proposal is understood to have been discussed at a board meeting which could see a £ 30million three-year package with the airline Emirates come to fruition.
The controversy surrounds renaming the competition as the Emirates FA Cup - previously its main sponsorship deal was referred to as the FA Cup with Budweiser.
The Football Supporters' Federation would not oppose the name-change if the income was spent in the right way, with the FA maintaining all the money it raises is ploughed back into grass-roots football.
Wenger guided Arsenal to FA Cup success for the fifth time last season, and will be back at Wembley to try to lift the famous trophy once again when they tackle Aston Villa on May 30.
The French coach believes such commercial deals are now an inevitable part of modern-day football, with Arsenal's main sponsors also the Middle East airline.
B ut Wenger suggests so long as the fairytale continues on the pitch with giant-killings and shocks throughout the rounds, then the FA Cup will lose none of its integrity, however it is branded.
"Will the name change? Certainly because of the sponsorship that looks to be the fate of the world that we live in," Wenger said.
"Personally for me it will remain the FA Cup, but what makes the quality of the FA Cup is the games you get and the quality of the competition. On that front I think it is a top quality."
Steve Bruce took Hull into the 2014 FA Cup final, where they were beaten 3-2 by Arsenal after extra-time having raced into a 2-0 lead.
The Hull manager see no issue with whatever the competition will eventually be labelled.
"We are frightened of change. I never thought Arsenal would leave Highbury and go to the Emirates, that Manchester City would leave Maine Road and go to the Etihad, that the FA Cup would be called the Emirates FA Cup. However that's what change is, if you don't have to move with the times you get called a dinosaur," he said.
"We can all like and admire tradition and history, but some things you have to go with the flow."
Tony Pulis guided Stoke to the 2011 FA Cup final, where the Potters lost to Manchester City.
Pulis, now in charge at West Brom, took a pragmatic view of the situation. He said: "Money controls everything, money speaks today and life is changed and you have to accept that. If the FA go for it they will go for it because of the money."