jpcloet wrote:The FA cup is essentially all the 2nd tier of soccer and the teams that did not make or did not progress in the Champions league.
The FA Cup has pretty much nothing to do with 2nd tier or Champions League - all English teams from levels 1 to 11 can compete in the FA Cup. Level 11 teams may have no crowd facilities and therefore be considered grassroots (although levels go through to 23 in some regions - see here
for full details of the 23 levels or tiers). There are 763 teams entering for 2011-12, from the top tier downwards, listed here
. As you can see Liverpool, Trafford FC of Old Toilet, Chelsea and other internationally-recognised teams with Champions league pedigree will be playing. The teams from lower tiers start at the beginning, whilst professional teams get byes, as revealed here
. Premier league (top tier teams) enter in the "third round proper" at the beginning of Jan 2012.
jpcloet wrote:The cups and extras are really just money makers based on huge TV rights.
The FA Cup, League Cup and three different European Cups all existed before TV Rights became an issue, in fact before colour TV.
The reason they exist is because teams and fans enjoy playing and watching them.
At grassroots level, football teams play leagues and several cup competitions too.
The TV Rights you may be thinking of are the adaptations of the European Cup into the Champions League and the combining of the European Cup Winner's Cup and UEFA Cup into the Europa Cup.
Specifically, you may be thinking of the Europa League. This is essentially a second-tier tournament at Euopean
level and has this season been re-vamped again to involve more league stages and matches. Traditionally, winners of this tournament were strong teams having had a hiccup in a previous season whereby they didn't qualify for the top tier tournament (European Cup / Champions League). However, mumblings amongst many teams, and the degree of squad rotation seen by aspitring top tier teams in this competition suggests it is rarely considered a serious goal and, with the extra games now involve, the bigger teams will undoubtedly concentrate their resources on domestic tournaments (and champions league qualification for the following season).
A few years ago a Trafford FC of Old Toilet got in a lot of bother with their, and other fans, for not entering the FA Cup due to tiredness after playing a TV Rights World Club Cup. Even manager Taggart (the Honorable Knight of lies and cheating) admitted this was a mistake and has never dared pull out of the tournament since.
My intention was for the analogy to mean that ACC is a tournament for clans of all levels, as long as they are organised. The byes in my original idea (which I have now reduced) were about bringing higher-ranked clans at a later stage , giving them a shorter season in the competition and creating competition amongst the lower-ranked clans early on. In the FA-cup amateur teams would traditionally battle through rounds in the first half of the fottie season, and top level teams in the second half, meaning similar fixtures demands all round. My idea was probably along the lines of ijex's point earlier - however, I can understand CDs reluctance to accept many byes, after all, this isn't a tournament of 763 teams, with 44 higher-level teams getting through to the later rounds. At our smaller level, the bye system may may it too easy for higher-ranking clans. I can see the debate continuing, but this tournament will run with the level of byes now stated and sicussed with CDs (no more than 1 round of byes). Anyone interested in continuing the debate may wish to start a seperate discussion thread with a view towards a second season next summer.
I hope the tournament doesn't turn-out to be more analogous to the Europa League (i.e. a 3-tier tournament system of CC - ACC - NC), but if it does then so be it. I wouldn't be surprised if sign-ups mean that the tournament is predominently middle-tier , with some enthusiastic and competitive lower and higher-ranking clans providing a little overlap.
Perhaps we should end the analogy there though as football involves one or two 90 minute matches per week (occassionally 3) for athletes covering up to 10KM per match, whereas clan ties can last up to a month.
Here endeth my football lesson.