THE HALF DECENT FOOTBALL MAGAZINE

2 June ~ It's usually a dramatic and memorable match. And this year was no exception with Reading briefly threatening the mother of all Wembley comebacks.

You get different clubs in it almost every year. Unlike the indistinguishable morass of Chelsea-Arsenal-Man Utd finals.

There are no semi-finals at Wembley. So the glorious novelty of Wembley pricing is part of the wonder of the day.

There's a long build-up to the final. In the local press, at least.

It takes place on a fixed date, Whit Bank Holiday. Which you feel obliged to keep free even if your club is 16th in the table in January just in case you do a Blackpool.

It's only match on in the land on that day. Apart from England's astonishing victory over Sri Lanka.

It's live on TV. And it gets the big match treatment from Sky.

It really is the last game of the domestic season. Unlike the FA Cup final which appears more and more like just another end of season game each passing year.

It's a massive match that really, really matters. A truly emotional finale wrapped around a £90 million brick of gold.

If you win it, you go onto something better, not the Europa League. A one-year cruise in the Premier League – five of the last six winners have been relegated instantly.

And finally, on a personal note, it's just like the FA Cup final because Reading never win that either. Roger Titford

Comments (9)
Comment by therealfacup 2011-06-02 11:49:40

I couldn't agree more. Sadly. Although I am pretty sure Blackpool were challenging for, or just inside the play off zone, from at least November, if not for the whole season.

Comment by JM Footzee 2011-06-02 12:29:41

"five of the last six winners have been relegated instantly"

Four of the last five, or five of the last seven by my count.

2010: Blackpool (down)
2009: Burnley (down)
2008: Hull (stayed up)
2007: Derby (down)
2006: Watford (down)
2005: West Ham (stayed up)
2004: Crystal Palace (down)

Comment by Sheds 2011-06-02 12:33:00

I thought for a moment we were going to get an article about the Championship Play-Off Final without a mention of the money. Phew, that was close. Good item though.

Comment by Craig van Fostinho 2011-06-02 14:08:21

Yep. I have studiously avoided all mention of that game, which is admittedly easier in a country that still prefers handball and thudball.

Another brave show. Another defeat. Good old Reading.

Comment by Janik 2011-06-02 15:34:45

Not exactly. The losing FA Cup finalist gets a day out. It's an opportunity gone, but the whole cup run still counts as an achievement.
Being beaten in the play-off final (any of them, not just the Championship one) means your season is a failure. It is much more painful.

Comment by Dalef65 2011-06-02 19:24:53

Get your own ideas author......Dont nick mine.....!

I posted something like this last year when Blackpool were playing Cardiff......

Comment by Dalef65 2011-06-02 19:31:33

http://www.wsc.co.ok/content/view/5309/38/

This is the link to the article..................
The last two posts at the bottom are mine....go take a look...!!

Comment by Dalef65 2011-06-02 19:36:53

Damn..... apparently the link isnt working....!


You can look through the archive.....
Its 20th May 2010,and the article is about Blackpool on the up and enjoying a day out at Wembley in the play off Final.
You can find my comments at the bottom (The last two posts).

Comment by Peter_Bateman 2011-06-02 22:04:14

6 of the last 8 play-off winners have gone straight back down and one of the two who stayed up were Hull in 2009, by default after winning 2 of their last 29 games. As a West Brom fan one part of me is glad to see a team that is clearly weaker than the Baggies coming up although I do have a soft spot for Swansea, firstly for relieving us of the burden of paying Luke Moore's wages and secondly because I followed them for two rounds of a personal FA Cup trail in 1985-86, starting with a First Round tie against Leyton Wingate at he Vetch which it seemed might be Swansea's final game, on a depressing rainy day. So to all the desperately worried Jacks I chatted to that day, enjoy next season whatever happens. You've had some rough times since you were last in the top division and no-one outside Cardiff will begrudge you your season (maybe more?) in the sun.

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