Liverpool and Man City supporters' groups issue joint statement on FA Cup train issues
City and Liverpool face-off in the semi-final on the weekend of April 16
Liverpool and Manchester City supporters have reacted angrily after it was confirmed that there will be no trains running to London on the weekend when the two teams face-off in the FA Cup semi-final next month.
The Reds progressed to the semi-final after securing a hard-fought win over Nottingham Forest on Sunday, while Pep Guardiola's men cruised past Southampton with a 4-1 victory.
The two sides will now face-off in a showpiece semi-final at Wembley on the weekend of April 16. The exact date and kick-off time is yet to be confirmed.
However, thousands of fans travelling down to London from the North West are facing a travel nightmare with no trains running from either station for the entire weekend.
Due to engineering work taking place across several locations between London Euston and Milton Keynes Central, with work also taking place on the West Coast Main Line, Avanti West Coast confirmed that it will not be running any trains into London Euston over the weekend of April 15 to 18.
Services from Manchester Piccadilly will start and finish at Milton Keynes Central and run via Stoke-on-Trent, while trains from Liverpool Lime Street will start and terminate at Rugby.
Serious conversations should be being had about moving the Man City vs Liverpool FA Cup semi-final to a more accessible venue for fans.
No trains from either Manchester or Liverpool to London that weekend is a farce. pic.twitter.com/8p2oPfYq00
— Amos Murphy (@AmosMurphy_) March 21, 2022
Therefore, for both City and Liverpool fans, a journey that would ordinarily take around two hours is now estimated to take up to four hours in total. As well as this, the cost of tickets could prove more expensive given the increased number of train changes involved.
Additionally, it is impossible to return on the same day via public transport, with the last train leaving London set to arrive in Manchester before the following morning departing at around 7.30pm - which would be around the same time as the full-time whistle if it kicks-off at 5:30pm. It is exactly the same situation for those fans returning to Liverpool.
Both Liverpool and Manchester City's Supporters' groups have issued a joint statement on the issue and urged the FA to consider choosing an alternative location that both sets of fans can get to.
It said: "Spirit of Shankly and all Liverpool FC supporters along with City’s 1894 Group and fans of Manchester City FC celebrated on Sunday at reaching the FA Cup semi-final.
"Yet rather than basking in the anticipation of the match, to be played on Saturday 16 / Sunday 17 April, it was, for all involved, not a case of “We’re on our way to Wembley” but “How will we get to Wembley?”
"Over the upcoming Easter weekend, when the game is scheduled, there are no trains between Euston and Milton Keynes, meaning there is no direct train to London from either Liverpool or Manchester. More than 64,000 travelling supporters will be forced on to the roads, which will already be over-burdened with bank holiday traffic.
"For the other semi-final between Chelsea and Crystal Palace, Wembley makes sense. For Liverpool and City it makes no sense.
"The FA statement on the matter claims they are looking for a solution and twice mentions supporters, yet fails to include us in any ongoing conversation. We are asking both clubs, the FA and Wembley to reconsider where this game is played and, for once, to put the fans at the forefront of their thinking.
"City and Liverpool are less than 40 miles apart and there are plenty of grounds big enough far closer than Wembley to stage such a prestigious game.
"We appreciate ties of this magnitude need forward planning, but the issue of how two sets of supporters will be able to travel and watch their teams has been ignored. Network Rail will have had their works scheduled, as is often the case over public holidays, for months. Did the FA in their planning of such a large-scale event not think to check for disruption to travelling fans in advance?
"We urge those in charge to think again and move the venue."
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