The point at which debates citing the FA Cup losing its magic have lost their magic | Football

FOR OUR NEXT TRICK …

It’s more than 22 years since the FA emotionally blackmailed defending champions Manchester United into withdrawing from the FA Cup so they could play in the inaugural Fifa World Club Championship in Brazil. The thinking behind this wheeze was that United’s expedition into the unknown would boost England’s chances of hosting the 2006 World Cup, a tournament that ultimately ended up being staged in Germany, possibly because the only team United managed to beat in Brazil were the Antipodean semi-professionals of South Melbourne.

In the intervening decades, debate…

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