IF ever there was more proof needed to confirm that the genuine football supporters have been further side-lined is the news that the next round of the FA Cup will be played mid-week.

Now that TV companies have more control of match scheduling it is quite apparent that attendances at games is quite irrelevant as financial rewards take preference.

Very few clubs outside of the Premier League have the opportunity to take advantage of the financial benefit provided by a takeover from a foreign consortium and as a result have to rely on gate receipts and perhaps a local sponsor to survive.

Over the years football has changed so much whether it be with numerous law amendments, the introduction of VAR or the complex financial scenario surrounding the game in general that a return to watching lower league teams or even the so-called “grass roots football” may well be the way forward for supporters throughout the country.

D Wearmouth, Shildon.