I remember going to 3rd round FA Cup games years ago when there would always be bigger crowds than for league games. There was a real magic about the cup, and people were always keen to go. Unfortunately these days the FA Cup is taken no more seriously by some teams than the League Cup, and the fans have given the games the cold-shoulder as a result.
Today is no exception. City were playing Middlesbrough at the Riverside. This was a banana-skin waiting to happen, but only 12000 fans turned to watch, with about 4000 making the trip from Manchester. At Premier League Wigan only 5000 turned up! I do wonder if City (who won 1-0 pretty comfortably) would have survived this game, had it been a sell-out with an intimidating atmosphere.
Unfortunately this is a sign of the times, where League status is the be all and end all. Top teams are only interested in getting into (or staying in) the Champions League, and the rest either want to retain their Premier League status, or are aiming to get there, to reach the “promised land”.