Date: 18th May 2016 at 9:11am
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Rotherham United don’t usually last that long in Cup Competitions – this season we made it to Round Two of the Capital One Cup although we did make it to the Third Round of the FA Cup but probably only because being in the Championship that’s where you start the campaign!

But what we are asking today is ‘is it fair to the travelling supporters when a Manager puts out a weakened side in Cup Competitions’?

This season Norwich City came to the New York Stadium for the Capital One Cup and brought one thousand travelling fans which isn’t bad for a Tuesday night. But Canaries Manager, Alex Neil, made a number of changes to his side – including three who actually came on loan to the Millers!

Sheffield United took a fair number of supporters to Fulham in the same competition which isn’t an easy trek for a mid-week game yet when they got there they found that there were ten changes to the team from the weekend game.

And the FA Cup is the same and often we find the ‘big teams’ in England playing their second or even third choice players. I do wonder how it helps the younger players in your side if you get hammered in what is probably their first full game.

But, to me, it’s so unfair to the travelling fans who make the effort to travel to away games only to see a team of players they probably haven’t heard of before. And what about when your team are drawn against a ‘big team’ don’t you pay expecting to see a team of ‘names’? So it’s so disappointing when a team you’ve never heard of before take to the field.

Whichever cup it is if you field a weakened team aren’t you disrespecting that cup and your fans? And if the Managers of teams are looking like the cup competition doesn’t matter then soon the fans will think that too and won’t turn up – and what would happen to the games then? If you think your teams Manager will be resting players perhaps you might think twice about going yourself.

Giant-killing used to be part and parcel of, particularly, the FA Cup for the smaller clubs in the Football League but they’ve not even got the bragging rights to that now. Frankly these weakened teams are making a bit of a mockery of our cup competitions.

Could it be that eventually we make the cup competitions for U21’s? Or will the hierarchy of the Football League do something about it all before it gets worse?

For instance the League Trophy (Johnstone’s Paint Trophy) includes in it’s rules Each Club shall play its full available strength in and during all matches. The Board will from time to time issue a policy as to what constitutes ‘full available strength`. Any Club failing to meet this requirement will be required to pay a fine of up to £5,000. Should we start giving the teams who fail to play available regular first team players in other cup competitions a fine?

What do you think?

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