There’s no doubt about it, the new Wembley is a better spectator experience than the old place, although we do miss the Empire charm of the Twin Towers. But there’s still a number of things that grate about the new stadium.
- The acoustics. Why do they fill the place with thumping noise? What’s wrong with listening to the crowd? There’s really no need for the loud club-style music that invariably provides the soundtrack to any major event at the stadium.
- Disgusting food, disgusting prices. Need we say more?
- Celebrity-itis. There was so much to commend the FA Women’s Cup Final, but why roll-out a game-show winning singer to warble in a giant half-empty stadium. Half the crowd had never heard of her and her non-descript song was completely lost in the cavern of Wembley.
- The FA Women’s Cup Final got it absolutely right with its information-packed, low budget publication on stylish paper. But normally, the huge, glossy, awkward and costly publications knocked out by Wembley and the FA are just so passe.
- Giant condoms floating in the air. Every final includes the ritual of giant club badges or statements that everyone ignores completely. They are a waste of time.
Wembley could get it so much better. Make the pre-match a preview. Roll-out old players, talk to current football folk about the game, the road to Wembley, inform the crowd, engage the crowd. The Olympics showed how it could be done. And there’s also the poor mobile signal to contend with at the stadium. Britain is so far behind the rest of the world when it comes to WIFI.