Strange choice of venue for curtain raiser

July, 29/2022 - 08:02
But the decision to play the match instead at Leicester’s King Power Stadium is for me, a little strange to say the least. With a capacity of just over 32,000, the King Power is simply far too small to host a big game.

The King Power Stadium, home of Leicester City FC. AFP Photo

Paul Kennedy

Not everyone is blessed with common sense. Sure, you may be academically brilliant and have degrees coming out of your ears, or on the other hand, incredibly street smart.

But having the ability to do the right thing at the right time isn’t something everybody is able to do. Common sense doesn’t always prevail.

And that’s a problem not just in individuals, but more often than not the powers that be. A decision might be made that to the majority seems outright bonkers.

Take for example this weekend’s Community Shield, the traditional curtain raiser to the new football season.

The winners of the Premier League, Manchester City, will play the winners of the FA Cup, Liverpool.

While the result in these fixtures isn’t necessarily of great magnitude, I’ve always been a big fan of the competition as it signals the end of football’s summer recess and the beginning of the new season.

I’ve been to many in the past. Won some, lost some, but it’s always a great day out to the Wembley Stadium, particularly because the weather in the UK this time of year is more often than not, favourable.

This time around, however, Saturday’s Community Shield will not be played at the national stadium and I can understand 100 per cent why not.

The extremely successful women’s Euros have been held in the UK over the past few weeks and Wembley will host the final on Sunday.

That’s fair enough. No problems on that front.

But the decision to play the match instead at Leicester’s King Power Stadium is, for me, a little strange to say the least.

With a capacity of just over 32,000, King Power is simply far too small to host a big game.

Liverpool fans could fill that twice over, and while City supporters do have a reputation for not filling their own stadium at times, I’m sure the lure of a final against Liverpool would be enough to put plenty of blue bums on seats.

Once corporate tickets are allocated, I’d be surprised if each club gets more than 10,000.

The other issue I have with this particularly chosen venue, is it just completely lacks any common sense.

It’s approximately 150km from Liverpool to Leicester, and it’s not a straight route by any stretch of the imagination. Add on about another 20km if you are heading to the East Midlands from Manchester.

There are alternatives that I can’t believe have not been explored.

Old Trafford, home of Manchester United, is a fraction of the distance for both sets of supporters, particularly City fans.

And even Aston Villa’s ground in Birmingham is a hell of a lot easier to get to for supporters travelling from the north west.

Their maybe very good reasons not to use Wembley for this particular fixture, but I’m struggling to come up with any to choose King Power.

So once again it seems common sense has not prevailed. VNS

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