2012 could repeat Cup, finale clash

BY foxsports • May 12, 2011

The 2012 FA Cup final and the likely 2011/12 Premier League title decider could both take place on the same Saturday next season as well.

Football Association chairman David Bernstein has confirmed that the Euro 2012 finals could mean top-flight league fixtures being played, like this season, on the same day as the FA Cup final - which is traditionally the last match of the campaign.

The final is also like to kick-off at 5.15pm instead of the historic 3pm start.

Stoke manager Tony Pulis has criticised the scheduling which will see this season's FA Cup final between his side and Manchester City potentially overshadowed by Manchester United clinching the Premier League title at Blackburn just minutes earlier.

Bernstein said on Thursday: "The situation arises not because of the Premier League, but because of Champions League considerations and the fact the Champions League final takes place at Wembley in two weeks.

"We won't be able to have the game at the end of the season next year because of the European Championships and the need for the gap between the league and Euros.

"In the course of time, and it won't be next season - I can say that now unfortunately - we will certainly be looking to get the FA Cup on its traditional day."

Bernstein said it was "a possibility" that Premier League matches could take place on the same day again and confirmed the move to a 5.15pm kick-off for the FA Cup final.

He added: "We think we will be moving to a later FA Cup final kick-off, at 5.15pm which is potentially more popular with viewers.

"There was some reluctance in research to do that but all in all, it is a good move that will increase the TV value of the competition."

Bernstein also refused to guarantee that Fabio Capello's successor as England manager will be English or to be drawn on the timescale for finding a replacement when the Italian's contract expires after Euro 2012.

"I cannot confirm he will be English," said Bernstein. "I think there is a desire for the manager to be English but I wouldn't want to close the situation and we have to judge it at the time.

"I would not say at this stage he has to be English, I would say at this stage it would be preferable.

"It is an important element, but not the only criteria, I clearly recognise there is a desire in this country to have an English manager when Fabio leaves."


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