When Crystal Palace and Brighton were drawn against one another in the third round of this season’s FA Cup, plenty foresaw all manner of off-field issues getting in the way but now, we’ve been informed of a rail strike on the day of the game which is almost certain to cause havoc.
Given the issues that arose when Palace made their last trip to The Amex Stadium a few weeks ago, you would have thought that both clubs would jump at the chance to schedule the next clash in the early afternoon on either Saturday or Sunday, leading to genuine bafflement from all corners when it was announced that the game would take place on Monday evening, whilst simultaneously being broadcast live on BT Sport.
With an already reduced ticket allocation and the prospect of yet more extreme policing at every turn, this latest news regarding a rail strike on the day of the game is likely to be the last straw for a fair few supporters. Unlike many stadiums, the only way for travelling fans to visit The Amex is by train thanks to its secluded location, amplifying any disruption to the service dramatically.
Quite how a football club were granted permission to build a new arena with such shoddy transfer links is a question all of its own but for now, I’m sure I’m not alone in sympathising with anyone who was or still is planning to make the trip to Falmer on the 8th of January.
Having had lies spread about us by Sussex Police in the immediate aftermath of our last visit to the south coast, no one can be quite sure what lies in wait for our supporters this time around, although a potential rail strike is certainly not going to calm the tensions that are already bubbling between the two clubs.