Weekend's FA Cup Matches Are Played In Front Of A Lot Of Empty Seats
Rows of empty seats "were a common sight across the country" as spectators gave the FA Cup "the cold shoulder," according to Laurie Whitwell of the London DAILY MAIL. A drop in attendance could have been predicted "given the somewhat lacklustre approach adopted by some managers to these third round ties." And coming so soon after the holidays, cost could have been a factor, "but some lowly crowds were still shocking." Just 8,984 showed up at Loftus Road, for the all-Premier League tie of QPR against West Bromwich. On Boxing Day, 17,782 watched the match between this pair. At DW Stadium, only 8,199 supporters turned out for Wigan’s draw with Bournemouth. Craven Cottage hosted just 14,473 for Fulham vs. Blackpool. Villa Park was far from full with 24,854 watching the hosts take on Ipswich. Leeds United’s draw with Birmingham was witnessed by 11,447. QPR Manager Harry Redknapp joked: "Maybe the sales were more exciting for them today" (DAILY MAIL, 1/5).