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Nick Cushing expresses disappointment at Manchester City Women's and men's fixture clash

Manchester City Women play their League Cup semi-final at the same time as the men play in the Carabao Cup

Nick Cushing, Manager of Manchester City Women looks on ahead of the FA Women's Continental League Cup Quarter Final match between Sheffield United Women and Manchester City Women at Proact Stadium on January 15, 2020 in Chesterfield, England
“It would definitely help if we didn’t play on the same day,” Nick Cushing said  Credit: Getty Images

Nick Cushing, the outgoing Manchester City Women head coach, has lamented that his side’s League Cup semi-final on Wednesday will be played at the same time as Manchester City men’s Carabao Cup semi-final, forcing fans to choose between the club’s two senior teams. 

2020欧洲杯体育足彩外围appCity Women travel to Arsenal’s Borehamwood - a rematch of last season’s League Cup final - for a 7.30pm kick-off on Wednesday, while Pep Guardiola’s side host Manchester United in their semi-final second-leg, leading 3-1 on aggregate, in a game that kicks off at 7.30pm. 

There is already a clash between the two women’s Continental Cup semi-finals - Manchester United host Chelsea on Wednesday - whereas the Carabao Cup games run on consecutive nights. The women’s League Cup games are straight knockout games and do not take place over two legs.

“It would definitely help if we didn’t play on the same day,” Cushing said. “I consistently talk with our fans. We have a group of fans that travel to every game, men and women’s. When you have to ask them to choose, it puts them in a place where they don’t really want to do that, because they want to watch both teams.

“I think if we’re going to grow the game, it’s not ideal. Versus Arsenal, we want to have a game where we have a full crowd. We’re probably not going to take as many away fans as we would if the men’s team weren’t playing.”

2020欧洲杯体育足彩外围appThe Carabao Cup is run by the EFL but the Women’s League Cup by the FA, meaning it is often unclear what discussions, if any, take place concerning fixture scheduling. In 2019, the Premier League denied West Ham permission to move their men's home game against Southampton to allow fans to also attend the club’s Women’s FA Cup final at Wembley, taking place on the same day. The Premier League rejected West Ham's plea to move the game from 3pm BST to 12:30pm, citing "potential inconvenience" to supporters.

Asked if he would like a rule to prevent fixture clashes, Cushing said: “I think the problem you’ve got is you’ve got an FA and the Premier League that aren’t the same sort of organisation. I don’t know if you’ll ever get that."

Nick Cushing expresses disappointment at Manchester City Women's and men's fixture clash