As many as 68% of football fans want the FA Cup semi-finals moved away from Wembley Stadium

A recent poll conducted by Ipsos found that 68% of fans were in favour of moving the FA Cup semi-finals away from Wembley, where the ties have been played since 2007/08.

Wembley being used as a venue for FA Cup semi-finals was criticised by football fans over March and April, after the FA refused to move Liverpool and Manchester City's tie despite fans facing huge travel problems.

The two sides will go head-to-head this weekend for a spot in the final, but thousands of fans have been left with no transport options into the capital due to engineering works on the train routes.

It resulted in both the mayor of Greater Manchester and Liverpool supporting calls for a venue change, but the FA have decided against any changes, with Wembley still the venue for the April 16 blockbuster.

However, while Wembley as a venue for the final is undisputed, a recent poll suggests that more than two thirds of football fans would like to see the semi-final clashes moved away from London into other neutral venues.

Old Trafford and Villa Park have often been used as neutral venues for FA Cup semi-final clashes, before it was stated in 2007 that all semi-finals would be played in the national stadium.

The poll was answered by 831 football fans across England and Wales as part of a representative survey of 2,051 adults aged 16-75 in Great Britain.

Support for moving the matches to neutral venues outside London was especially strong in the 55 to 75 age group - where 74 per cent were in favour. That dropped to 63 per cent in the under-35s.

The research director at Ipsos, Keiran Pedley, said: "There is clear support amongst football fans in England and Wales for future FA Cup semi-finals being held at neutral venues outside London.

Wembley Stadium

"It is interesting that support is strongest amongst older fans, which may reflect the memory some have of this happening in the past. Of course, how likely this is to ever happen in the future is another matter entirely."

The FA have been approached for a response to the poll, as pressure continues to pile on potential venue changes in future tournaments.

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