FA Cup DISGRACE as Liverpool and Man City fans demand semi-final is moved away from Wembley with NO trains running to London that weekend... and governing body knew about the disruption SIX MONTHS ago!
- Liverpool and Manchester City will face each other in their FA Cup semi-final
- The supporters travelling to the game are facing severely disrupted journeys
- Railway works means London Euston will have no available and running services
- The engineering work taking place had been planned up to two years in advance
Liverpool and Manchester City supporters have demanded their FA Cup semi-final next month be moved from Wembley over ‘shambolic’ transport arrangements, with no direct trains to London from either city on the weekend of the match.
To make matters worse, Sportsmail has learned that the Football Association were warned of the potential for travel chaos around next month’s FA Cup semi-finals in September.
Liverpool and City fans face severely disrupted journeys for their Wembley clash over the Easter weekend, with rail engineering works grinding London Euston to a halt.
Liverpool and Manchester City will face each other in the semi-final of the FA Cup next month
Euston is the capital’s hub for travel from the North West but will not service trains across the weekend of April 16-17 due to upgrades that had been planned up to two years in advance.
Industry sources told Sportsmail the FA were advised of the likelihood of travel problems for fans in a letter sent by Network Rail bosses six months ago.
The North West has boasted at least one club in the last four of the competition in every season since 2011. The FA confirmed in a statement that the location of the fixture would not be moved from Wembley as fans called for a switch to a more suitable venue instead.
The supporters travelling to the FA Cup game are facing severely disrupted journeys
London Euston (above) will have no running service due to pre-planned railway works
‘The FA will be liaising closely with both Liverpool and Manchester City on all match arrangements, including supporters travel for the upcoming semi-final at Wembley Stadium, with further details to be announced in due course,’ the statement read.
‘We are also continuing to work with both Network Rail and National Express to find a solution so that supporters of both teams are able to travel to and from the fixture with as minimal disruption as possible.’
Although the date of the match has yet to be confirmed, it looks likely to be on Saturday, April 16.
A return trip from Manchester, that includes changes and bus replacements, is almost impossible on the day — and subject to further disruption.
The prospect for Liverpool fans is bleaker, with Saturday’s last available train home out of King’s Cross scheduled for 7.35pm — minutes after full time of a 5.30pm kick-off — and involving a tight five-minute change in Leicester. City are understood to be looking into the availability of extra coaches for fans.
The prospect for Liverpool's fanbase bleak, with Saturday's last available train home out of King's Cross currently scheduled at 19:35 - minutes after full-time of a 17:30 kick off
Kevin Parker, of the club’s official supporters’ club, said: ‘Nobody is surprised. The FA will have known this was going to be a problem and yet have done nothing about it. They could have made arrangements to play this game at Old Trafford. However, for them it is just about money, not the supporters of City or Liverpool.’
Spirit of Shankly, the Liverpool fans’ group, and City’s 1894 Group issued a joint statement that read: ‘For all involved, it’s not a case of “We’re on our way to Wembley” but “How will we get to Wembley?” Over the Easter weekend, when the game is scheduled, there are no direct trains to London from either Liverpool or Manchester.
‘We are asking both clubs, the FA and Wembley to reconsider where this game is played and, for once, to put the fans at the forefront of their thinking.’
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