FOOTBALL'S corporatisation is a long-established and long-lamented phenomenon that for many supporters has undeniably sucked out a good deal of the game's fun and spontaneity.

It might be difficult to spot it in the sport's immediate arena - the 90 minutes of full-blooded competition that takes place on the pitch - but it is there for all to see in its surroundings.

Most clubs nowadays hide their innermost workings behind the twin barriers of secrecy and jargon, and players are increasingly divorced from the day to day realities of the fans who follow, and in many cases idolise, them.

Ticket prices are a classic example of this corporatisation. Last season fan protests surprisingly forced Premier League clubs to come to some sort of compromise over future pricing structures.

I say surprisingly, because history tells us that clubs appeared immune from the unrest over how much it costs to attend matches, simply because the demand meant that for every disgruntled fan who tore up their season ticket in protest, there was always another ready and willing to empty their pockets to take his or her place.

The Football Association has long been the de facto King of Corporatisation, its use of profit-motive jargon and obfuscation so effective that, for long periods in recent years, its missives on the game have made no sense at all to fans.

And now that senselessness has extended to today's FA Cup final, Crystal Palace v Manchester United at Wembley.

Ah, Wembley. The ridiculously expensive, continually pointless 'home' of the national game, as if by definition the 92 Premier and Football League grounds, and the countless non-league grounds on these shores aren't in effect, the multiple true homes of football.

Lest I should be accused of an English bias, while writing from the Welsh side of the Severn, I would simply stress the following: That in referring to the Premier and Football Leagues, the FA, and Wembley as the - sadly inappropriate - zenith of the game, and the venue at which the majority of those who ply their trade in the aforementioned leagues aspire to play, I am referring to entities that are no respecters of these borders.

Now, I have no idea how Wembley works, how the FA runs it. But in its desire to claw back as much as possible of the several hundreds of millions of pounds it cost to build, the principle of the 'corporate' is writ large.

Thirty thousand corporate ticket holders could attend the FA Cup final today. That's one third of the venue's total capacity.

I know corporate hospitality is a presence at a vast array of sporting occasions these days, but as Prawn Sandwich Brigades (©Roy Keane) go, that is huge.

But wait. So keen are the FA to iron out as many of the - corporate jargon alert! - imponderables as possible, that the (un)lucky folk who today make up that privileged 30,000 have been informed that they cannot wear items that indicate their club loyalty.

Amongst the banned are replica shirts, scarves, hats, flags, clothing and bags with club brands, and badges.

I stress 'amongst' because there are other banned items - and though I can't find any reports referring to them, I suspect that tattoos indicating club allegiance will have to be covered.

Those who seek to defy this edict may be refused entry or removed from the stadium for their own safety.

What does the FA fear is going to happen? A full-blown corporate battle with canapés lobbed like grenades? Eyes dashed out by direct hits with mascarpone-stuffed romano peppers? "Don't throw the champagne flutes Tarquin, they're Wembley-embossed!"

Pathetic. Wembley has its corporate section centre-stage, a grotesque flaunting of oneupmanship that merely broadcasts that at the best of times it occupants are largely divorced from the spectacle taking place on the pitch.

Now those in that section who do care will not be allowed to demonstrate their allegiance. What happens to those who jump for joy when their team scores a goal today is unclear. If I were them, I would sit on my hands, just in case.

When I was a kid, which is admittedly a goodly while ago, formally separated, corporate hospitality sections at football grounds were very unusual, and matches and the atmosphere that surrounded them were all the better for their absence.

But as football's myriad administrators and managements would have it, things have 'moved on' and members of the Prawn Sandwich Brigades are vital contributors to clubs' 'revenue streams'.

Today at Wembley, that corporatisation turns on itself. Corporate watchdogs are ordering brigade members to simply turn up, shut up, and eat.

Die of a surfeit of vol-au-vents, by all means. Just don't be a proper fan. Crazy.