February 21, 2024

Richard Keys has taken aim at the FA and ITV for choosing to show the Thursday, January 4, 0-0 tie between Everton and Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.

The beIN SPORTS presenter was correct when she said that the match appeared dull even before it began, as the teams engaged in a dull 90 minutes of football.

The questionable red card given to Dominic Calvert-Lewin by VAR was the only entertaining part of an otherwise dull match.



Regarding Palace vs. Everton, what in the world were TV executives thinking when they decided to start a weekend-long FA Cup broadcast with that match? It was dull on paper. In practice, it was dull. Howler to cover it, that’s what Keys said in a tirade on his blog on January 8.

I suppose ego is what drives such decisions. Since ITV doesn’t get much live football these days—nor Premier League football at all—I assume they want to include as many Premier League-style games as they can in their FA Cup coverage. To be honest, the BBC is just as terrible.

Keys is right, it was a terrible choice

Any Everton or Crystal Palace fan would have been able to tell you the outcome of that tie before it kicked off, so for it to be selected for ITV coverage, let alone moved to its own date to kick off the weekend of football, was a shocking decision from whoever made it.

The desire to show all-Premier League clashes is understandable given the drive for higher viewing figures, and clubs from the top league will obviously increase those, but they clearly don’t think of the fans when making these decisions.



It also takes away from the point of the FA Cup. Why would a clash between two middling Premier League sides be picked for TV coverage rather than giving the broadcasting money to a club that actually needs it?

While everybody was bored to sleep by two sides who showed no desire to push further into the cup, Maidstone – the lowest-ranked team left in the competition – beat high-flying Stevenage to progress into the fourth round. Surely that was worthy of some coverage?


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