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Woodman

The downgrading of Wembley

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Ok, I accept this might divide opinion, but that''s what this forum is for - debate.

I hear Spurs will play all their home league games at Wembley next season. Then there''s their European home games this season (though it hasn''t done them much good). Then there''s the FA Cup semi finals, and dare I say it, the play off finals.

Wembley used to be for the FA Cup, League Cup finals and for England home games only. Am I being an old traditionalist, or do others feel it''s no longer a ''special'' place?

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It should have been rebuilt somewhere in the midlands where it was easier for everyone to get to.

Saying that who can forget the 3 visits we had to the twin towers and then the play off final.

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Yes, it does rather devalue it. But only to those fans not attending. We sold our share for 2015 as I gues most other play off finals will. But everything is about grabbing as much money as you can. Rugby was the 5 nations every Jan/Feb now they are endlessly playing. jJust as cricket where the national side seems to be playing somewhere over the whole 12 months. I miss the steps up to get the cup and the spontaneous lap of honour. It is all a bit staged now, even the Queen doesn''t bother to go much now either. I remember once when poor old Charles was presenting the FA cup some captain mistook him for the cup and grabbed him by the lugs and tried to lift him up instead.

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I agree it should be used for finals, and England matches only in my view.

It''s all about recouping the building costs, but it has lost some of its magic now, as a result.

I have discussed it with my 16 year old son and he agrees that, The Emirates, old Trafford etc should be used for semi finals.

I personally much prefer the old twin towers to the new build too

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[quote user="Greavsy"]I agree it should be used for finals, and England matches only in my view.

It''s all about recouping the building costs, but it has lost some of its magic now, as a result.

I have discussed it with my 16 year old son and he agrees that, The Emirates, old Trafford etc should be used for semi finals.

I personally much prefer the old twin towers to the new build too[/quote]

Back in my day, the semi finals of the FA Cup were at Villa Park and Hillsborough. We have some amazing stadia now that could host them - Emirates, London stadium, Old Trafford, St James'' Park and the new White Hart Lane when Its ready. It''s sad that money and recouping the build cost overrides the achievement of ''getting to Wembley'' for the final.

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Villa Park was the most used, followed by Hillsborough, Old Trafford, Elland Road, Highbury, Maine Road and White Hart Lane in modern times. I believe the grounds were selected on regional proximity. Which made sense though it did restrict the capacity a bit. Why have Liverpool and Man Utd playing a semi final at Wembley, when there''s Main Road or Goodison within easy reach of both sets of fans ? A fans poll in 2013 found 86% opposition to Wembley semi-finals. And I would be one of those 86%.

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t''s only a football ground not a shrine.

It needs to pay for it''s self.

Several pop concerts were held at the old Wembley and were terrific and maybe some have already taken place at the new.

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I guess the point is very true that football is a business and Wembley certainly is no longer what it was.

Spurs also, as a top Prem Side now, need a decent infrastructure in terms of fan volumes etc. and Wembley already has that in place with tube/trains and busses.

Does it devalue Wembley as a footballing icon? Absolutely. But with Spurs paying what must be a reasonable ground rent, and guaranteed income from fortnightly football matches bringing in revenue from food stalls etc. it was probably an offer Wembley Stadium couldn''t turn down. Ca-chiiiiiiiiiing. $$$$

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Guest
I think history is for visiting but not living in.

Wembley, with its iconic twin towers, 100K capacity, the long walk for the teams and community singing was great. The Cup Final was one of the few games televised live and was special.

But the new Wembley dosen''t look too much different to OT, Emirates to me. It isn''t special.

I have nothing against England games being played in the provinces either. Of course the FA want big crowds financially but it would create a better atmosphere at Anfield than Wembley.

And ditch that darned band!

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Interesting post KG, I do wonder how much interest it would generate if England''s qualifiers/friendlies got played around the country instead of just Wembley. A game each at Old Trafford/Eithad, Anfield and Emirates. Some England crowds have been small all things considered, I wonder if that would generate a bit more interest in following the national team and be a bit more ''with the times''

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I''m guessing the corporates / Wembley season ticket holders wouldn''t be happy if England went around the provinces, but they could for friendlies, and play qualifiers at Wembley.

I''ve watched Olympic football, internationals, club ''friendlies'' (Liverpool v Barca last season in some sky tournament) and of course Norwich at Wembley, and always enjoyed my day out, with a sense of occasion.

I''m sure it''s the same for the players, to play or even score there, whatever the occasion is the stuff of dreams.

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I certainly think the friendlies should be played around the country, as they do with the U21 games. I''ve seen a couple of games at Carrow Road in the past and thoroughly enjoyed seeing some of the ''future'' stars - before they get snapped up by the Chelsea, Man City and Arsenal academies, never to be seen in their first team ever again.

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Ludicrous that semi-finals are played there; the whole point used to be ''to get to Wembley'' didn''t it? The new place is a bit sterile & plastic-looking. Why the iconic Twin Towers were not retained within the new design I''ll never understand.

Now Spurs will be kicking around on the hallowed turf in a similar way to West Ham at the London Stadium. Put ''em out on Hackney Marshes & make do there while the new stadiums are created. I suppose Chelsea will want to have a spell there next?

I think the old Wembley Stadium should have been demolished & a new one built in central England somewhere like St Georges Park.

As you may be able to tell, I get a bit fed up with London-centric decisions!

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