Liverpool and Manchester City are due to play one another in the FA Cup semi-final on April 16 or 17, which falls in the middle of engineering works that would prevent train travel from either of the teams’ cities to London, where the fixture is being held at Wembley. Mayors from both cities have now called for the match to be switched to a more convenient venue.
The respective mayors of Liverpool and Manchester have called for the FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Manchester City to be moved from Wembley Stadium.
The Premier League pair are due to play each other on either April 16 or 17, with those two dates landing between the April 15-18 period when engineering works will stop any train service between Manchester and London, and Liverpool and the capital.
That means the vast majority of fans for both sides will struggle to attend the final easily and will have to find alternative methods of travel.
In a letter to the FA, Andy Burnham and Steve Rotheram both said: “Without quick, direct trains, many people will be left with no option but to drive, fly, make overly complex rail journeys or book overnight accommodation.
“When you factor in the rising costs of fuel, it is clear that supporters of both clubs attending this game will face excessive cost and inconvenience – and that is before any environmental impact is considered.
“There are also significant logistical and safety considerations. With thousands of fans making the long journey south, there will be huge numbers converging on the M6, which is likely to be stretched to capacity by bank holiday traffic.
“A single accident would risk the entire motorway being brought to a standstill and fans missing the kick-off.”
The letter continued: “Over the last year, we have heard the slogan ‘football without fans is nothing’ many times. If this decision is left to stand, and people are either priced out of this game or unable to attend for other reasons, those words will be meaningless to many.
“We believe the most obvious solution is to move the game to a more accessible stadium and offer to work constructively with you to make that happen.”
The other FA Cup semi-final is between London clubs Chelsea and Crystal Palace and will be played at Wembley. That match, as well as a duel between City and Reds, will be available for online betting.