Q: When is a cup draw not a cup draw?
A: When the FAW are organising it.
The next time the FA of Wales attempt to present a live cup draw on Facebook, I would suggest having the theme to Laurel and Hardy or Benny Hill as background music.
Monday’s lunchtime Welsh Cup second round draw shown (partly) on the social media site was nothing short of an embarrassing shambles.
I’m not sure what the viewing figures were, but to anyone in or outside of Wales who may have tuned in, we must have looked like a laughing stock (sadly, more on that later).
The draw was fronted by FAW head of public affairs Ian Gwyn Hughes, a very nice and helpful gentleman who I have always enjoyed dealing with (not sure about our future relationship if he reads this) and have always found to be very professional.
He was accompanied by former pro football brothers David and Paul Giles, whose role on this occasion was balls handling of a different kind. None of the three men mentioned can be blamed for Monday’s fiasco.
After the previous live FAW draw I had witnessed on Facebook not so long ago (not sure if it was Welsh Cup or FAW Trophy), which was utterly cringeworthy, I was hoping for better on this occasion.
However, after three northern ties were called out, the stream went down, connection was lost and suddenly there was a flood of frustration-ridden comments from the live Facebook audience, many no doubt dying to know who their local team had drawn.
It was some time later before connections were restored and we were halfway through the southern draw.
More angry comments followed from viewers wondering when we were going to find out the rest of the north ties.
Infuriatingly, there was no recap on what had been missed and it was some time later before the FAW posted a full list of ties from the north and south on its Facebook page and then social media.
An absolute PR disaster by the FAW in covering a live event which means a lot to many football fans and gives grassroots a much-needed airing.
On a personal note, I was in the company of an American friend who is visiting the UK and I ill-advisedly asked him to tune into the draw with me.
Cue endless loud New York style laughter from a man who well and truly got his revenge on me – someone who had been endlessly ribbing him about the shortcomings of President Trump.
“You say Trump couldn’t organise a p*** up in a brewery and then you show me these guys?” – or words to that effect were thrown my way.
It’s a good job I didn’t show my USA buddy a recording of that recent draw I mentioned earlier. He’d still be guffawing now.
After one set of draws was finished, FAW head of competitions Andrew Howard said words to the effect of: “we’ll be back with you shortly for the —— draw”.
In the intervening break, you’d have thought a 30-seconds montage of Gareth Bale goals or even some interlude music might have been broadcast, but all we got was a shaky camera which would have made Roobarb and Custard look steady zooming in on something so closely you could not see what it was – and then all one could hear in the background was clanking balls and tables being moved around.
Amateurish is not the word.
I didn’t know whether to laugh loudly or hang my head in despair out of pity for what was going on.
Okay, some of you may say ‘it’s only a cup draw, not a live ITV news broadcast’, but you still expect a certain level of professionalism for what is our national knockout trophy.
I wish S4C’s Heno would intervene and do the draws for every round, rather than just the latter stages as happens now.
It would save us from this Facebook farce which pleases no-one except Charlie Chaplin fans or someone on the lookout for a bellyful of cheap laughs.