Date: 19th April 2007 at 8:47pm
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England’s woes in the qualifiers should not surprise us – Steve McClaren is incompetent but his bosses are even worse so do not expect any improvement.

Let’s start with solid facts: Manchester United and Chelsea will receive 25,000 tickets each for the Cup Final on May 19. If anyone forgot, the new Wembley can hold a crowd of 90,000.

What can one say? It’s absolutely breathtaking. I was spending a lot of time looking for any arguments that might explain this but could not find any. One can argue that neutrals, simple football-loving people should be given a chance to go there and enjoy the thrill of the occasion. But fourty thousand?

I was looking forward to the atmosphere of the new Wembley but with the FA’s ridiculous prices (reasonable they are as Brian Barwick boldly said) and half of the stadium packed with people who could be neutrals – we can hardly expect miracles.

Of course, most tickets will end up at fans anyway via touts but only at even more inflated prices. Why is this good for anyone?

On this side, we often ridiculed the moaning of Chelsea but this time we could not agree more.

‘At a meeting Chelsea FC was advised by the Football Association of the allocation to the clubs for the FA Cup Final at Wembley,’ read a club statement.

‘We were very disappointed to receive this news as many of our regular fans will now miss out on a great day for both clubs.’