In a world of pragmatic football, where the league is just a competition of rich giants, cup competitions are the ultimate romance with shocks and miracles. The FA Cup is one of such last romantic things.
In the 20th century, many people will not be able to imagine teams taking up the entire team for a match in the FA Cup. Or a coach is fired after helping the team to be crowned in this tournament like Louis Van Gaal in 2016.
The FA Cup was once considered one of the most important tournaments of the year. The league is not considered the most prestigious league in England. FA Cup winners are more revered even though they have only played 6 knockout matches while the national champions have to complete a 42-match streak.
That is a concise summary of a somewhat ridiculous concept. Specifically, the national champions played both matches with all the teams in the country’s No. 1 tournament. However, they are not considered the best club. English football fans seem to attach more importance to cup tournaments.
Before the National Championship was born, the teams played only in cup tournaments and friendly matches. Then, president William McGregor proposed the idea of organizing a tournament that brings together the strongest teams. England’s first league was born in 1888 based on the style of cricket competition.
This tournament consists of 12 clubs from Central and Northern England. Together with eight other clubs, they formed a new tournament called the Football Combination. This plan has met many difficulties as many people think that it is not necessary to create a long tournament, but only the knockout cup tournaments are enough.
But then, McGregor’s idea became popular and became the Football League. This is the professional soccer league system of clubs in England and Wales not only in the 19th century but continues to this day. Whenever there was an idea of modifying the tournament structure, people would immediately object because the integrity of the tournament had been compromised.