Moyes hits out over cup tickets
David Moyes' frustration over cup final tickets has been tempered by a record-breaking merchandise deal.
Last Updated: 01/05/09 5:39pm
Everton manager David Moyes' frustration over FA Cup final tickets has been tempered by a record-breaking merchandise deal with sports retailer Kitbag.
Moyes has criticised the Football Association for being "disrespectful" and "hypocritical" in their allocation of tickets for the Wembley showpiece on May 30.
Everton and Chelsea have been given around 25,000 tickets each for the 90,000-capacity venue and Moyes is dismayed that so many tickets are not going to fans of the finalists.
"We get 25,000, Chelsea get 25,000 and I think the FA get 40,000," he said. "Something is not right when 40,000 tickets have gone to corporate people.
"I understand these people are the ones putting some money into it and probably helped build Wembley in the first place but it's not right for the average punter.
"It disappoints me when all through the season when the managers get questioned about not putting out their strongest team in FA Cup ties, leaving one or two players out.
"The biggest disrespect has come from the FA in how many tickets they have given teams who get to the final.
"It is a little bit hypocritical. They want us to support the competition, speak well about it, play everyone in it and then when we get there give the teams a limited amount of tickets.
"There is nothing Everton can do but I feel really bad for the supporters. We could probably take three times the number of tickets we have got and I'd love them to be there. I just hope they all get in somehow."
The Toffees have struck up a £30million-plus deal with Kitbag, however, for the sports retailer to market the club's merchandise worldwide.
The biggest commercial contract in Everton's 131-year history, it runs for 10 years and will see Kitbag take responsibility for high street shopping, mail order and the club's online store.
"This new and exciting partnership represents real and tangible progress in the retail arena for Everton," said the club's chief executive officer, Robert Elstone.
"It is, and will remain, a key area of the club's overall business and therefore it was crucial to find the right partner. I believe we have done that with Kitbag Limited.
"It will undoubtedly benefit Everton and our supporters for many years to come.
"There has been a significant amount of investment in this partnership from Kitbag already and it further demonstrates the ambition to improve our retail brand, our product ranges and customer service levels."
It is hoped the deal will help provide Moyes with some much-needed resources to strengthen his relatively small squad, which has been hit by injuries in recent weeks.
Mikel Arteta (knee), Yakubu (Achilles) and Victor Anichebe (knee) had already been ruled out for the season before Phil Jagielka ruptured an anterior knee ligament in last week's defeat by Manchester City, denying him an FA Cup final appearance.
The defender has been one of Everton's star performers this season and scored the winning penalty in the semi-final shoot-out against Manchester United.
"I think it really affected us all, we were really upset for the boy," said Moyes.
"If anyone deserved to play in an FA Cup final for Everton this season it was Phil Jagielka.
"He is going to miss out and we all feel for him. This one was slightly different from Mikel or Yak - whose injuries happened earlier on.
"Jags has played a big part and we are really disappointed. Football is not always fair and in this case it certainly isn't."