Man City angered by FA Cup scheduling

Manuel Pellegrini

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are still in contention for four trophies this season

Manchester City will write to the Football Association to complain about the scheduling of their FA Cup fifth-round match at Chelsea.

The tie will be shown on BBC One on 21 February, three days before City face Dynamo Kiev in the Champions League.

City are chasing four trophies, and a source said the club were “furious”.

The BBC and FA tried to find a way to screen the game on Saturday but said “conflicting fixtures and safety concerns” made it impossible.

City manager Manuel Pellegrini had suggested he would play a weakened side if his team were made to play on the Sunday.

City are still in contention to a complete an unprecedented quadruple by winning the Premier League, League Cup, FA Cup and Champions League.

They will have to play a game in each competition in an 11-day span between 21 February and 2 March.

Privately, the club say they are proud to compete in domestic cup competitions, but feel they are being penalised for their achievements by “ludicrous” scheduling.

City are attempting to go further than they have before in the Champions League, and the club are also concerned about England’s European coefficient – the system used to decide how many clubs from each nation qualify.

Speaking before the FA Cup schedule was announced, Pellegrini said: “If we play against Chelsea on Sunday it won’t be a normal team.

“It will be a young team. I don’t see why we can’t play on Saturday. I must do what I think is better for the club, which is Champions League.”

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