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The Dennis Viollet Fund

www.red11.org DAILY NEWS [FA CUP DEBATE]
Date: Tue Jun 29 06:06:17 GMT+00:00 1999
Mail: barry@www.red11.org

This Issue:
1. United poised to miss FA Cup 
2. United's costly gamble could be doomed 
4. FA Cup's image may be ruined forever
6. United poised to miss FA Cup 
8. Guardian Fiver Editorial
11. FAC exemption .... negative emails from non-REDS  sent to 365
12. United told to forget the FA Cup


Daily RED Trivia  Tues 29th June 1999:

 Tom Miller born in Motherwell. Miller cost 2,000 from Liverpool and made
 his debut against Tottenham Hotspur in September 1920. A physical Inside-forward,
 he made 27 appearances and scored 8 goals between 1920-21. He won a FA Cup
 Winners medal with Liverpool in 1914 and was capped 3 times by Scotland. 

Barry Daily Comment:
This FACUP business is out of order. Either we could drop the Worthington Cup
OR possibly a bye in the earlier rounds of the FA Cup.
The news is bad and the FA CUP will never be the same again!

The Football Association - 
MANY have written to Martin Edwards and copied the same to David
Davies at the F.A. If you have feelings against the FA CUP move
please do likewise and make your feelings known. The fax
number for Manchester United is: UK-0161-876-5502 the FA is: UK-0171-402-0486.

There is a Daily News Survey running for those with www:
Fill in the form at 

The latest in a series of Nick Oldham [Maccelsfield] Extravaganza's!
If you missed any, all Nick's work is now on the site here:
    61515 Jun 25 07:16 schmeiks_goodbye.jpg
   130908 Jun 25 07:18 barce_reds.jpg
    63179 Jun 25 07:16 beckwed.jpg
    90085 Jun 25 07:18 dodgykeeper.jpg
   105148 Jun 25 07:21 ecf_champions_99.jpg
    64869 Jun 25 07:19 fanscup.jpg
    55581 Jun 25 07:17 passion.jpg

 Its the presentation of the European Cup at Nou Camp
  Video including sound   57secs  1.5 meg  Real Video  Use Real Player Plus G2
   Free at www.real.com

Latest MUFC Squad song is now available in stereo at www.red11.org
Stereo Sound: REAL AUDIO:  607k 4mins "stereo"
 MP3  4.6meg  4mins "stereo"

RED sky at night BARCE' delight
 More fun here: http://www.red11.org/mufc/barcedance.htm


Previous News:
 BSKYB Takeover news/pics at http://www.red11.org/mufc/bskyb.htm
  Brian Kidd Press conference, pic, real audio
 Peter Schmeichel's last Season at United!


01-AUG-1999 [15:00] Manchester Utd. vs Arsenal  (FA Charity Shield, AWAY)
08-AUG-1999 [16:00] Manchester Utd. vs Everton  (FA Premier League, AWAY)
11-AUG-1999 [20:00] Manchester Utd. vs Sheffield W  (FA Premier League, HOME)
14-AUG-1999 [15:00] Manchester Utd. vs Leeds U  (FA Premier League, HOME)
22-AUG-1999 [16:00] Manchester Utd. vs Arsenal  (FA Premier League, AWAY)

August 3rd Omagh Town, St Julian's Road ground
August 4th Wigan Athletic

****Pre season tour details JULY 1999 ***

Melbourne  Sydney  
Thu 15/7 MAN. UNITED V SOCCEROOS evening in Melbourne 
    at the MCG (Melbourne Cricket Ground- capacity 90,000.) kick off 20.00hrs.
- Melbourne Cricket Ground 5 minutes from the city. Good transport available
 Tickets available - starts from $60.00 - behind the goal -next up is $90.00,
   $130.00 and $150.00

    Homebush Bay, Sydney  NEW SOUTH WALES  15.00 local time 
     Tickets for Sydney game try here:
   then type MANCHESTER in the search field.

   + Far East

Wed 21/7 Shangai first time ever!!!
 This match will be watched by 80,000 fans 
  The game has sold out with the Shanghai Star reporting the home side's
  chairman Yu Zhifei as saying: ''It is unprecedented that the tickets
  should sell out for a match five weeks in advance." 

Sat 24/7 Hong Kong  Repeat of the 1997 game
 "ALL matches will be shown "the same day" om MUTV.

UNITED Stats v All teams:

Pos Team                  P  W  D  L   F   A   W  D  L   F   A   GD  Pts
 1  Manchester United    38 14  4  1  45  18   8  9  2  35  19   43   79
 2  Arsenal              38 14  5  0  34   5   8  7  4  25  12   42   78
 3  Chelsea              38 12  6  1  29  13   8  9  2  28  17   27   75
 4  Leeds United         38 12  5  2  32   9   6  8  5  30  25   28   67

Here are the first matches in the coming season 1999/2000 fixture list:
ALL FIXTURES at: http://www.red11.org/mufc/fix9899.htm
15 July Melbourne pre season Australia
18 July Sydney pre season Australia
21 July Shanghai pre season Shenhua
24 July Hong Kong pre season South China

1 Aug Wembley Ch Sh Arsenal
4 Aug Friendly Wigan Athletic
8 Aug away PL Everton
11 Aug home PL Sheffield Wednesday
14 Aug home PL Leeds United
21 Aug away PL Arsenal
25 Aug away PL Coventry City
27 Aug Monaco ESC Lazio
28 Aug away PL Newcastle United

Personal stories here: http://www.red11.org/mufc/barcelona.htm


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Subject: United poised to miss FA Cup Vivek Chaudhary and Ian Ross Tuesday June 29, 1999 Manchester United are to withdraw from next season's FA Cup in an unprecedented and controversial move that will anger sponsors and fans. United chairman Martin Edwards said last night that after days of negotiations with the Football Association and the Premier League the only sensible option for the club was to withdraw. The decision is expected to be ratified at a meeting of Manchester United directors and team manager Sir Alex Ferguson today and will allow the club to participate in next January's inaugural world club championship in Brazil. The prestigious eight-team tournament is being organised and backed by Fifa, world football's governing body. Mr Edwards said: "We have done a lot of talking with the Football Association and the Premier League and it does seem that the only sensible way is to withdraw from the FA Cup. "This is a chance for Manchester United to become the first champions of the world." Supporters groups and sponsors reacted angrily yesterday after it emerged that the FA had offered United a chance to withdraw from the Cup in return for participating in the new tournament. The club's presence in Brazil is seen as crucial to England's bid to secure the 2006 World Cup. Both the FA and sports minister Tony Banks have backed United's plans. Mr Banks said yesterday: "It is my estimation and of those close to the 2006 campaign that a failure by Manchester United to go to the new competition in Brazil would do irreparable damage to our 2006 World Cup campaign."
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Subject: United's costly gamble could be doomed By Martin Lipton Tuesday, June 29, 1999 The unedifying sight of Manchester United becoming a pawn in a political power game proved just how much the Football Association will risk to bring the World Cup to English soil. As fans, other clubs and even the players' union boss Gordon Taylor voiced opposition to United ducking out of the FA Cup to fly the flag on the Government's behalf in the World Club Championship, Lancaster Gate was prepared to take the flak. With 10 million already invested in the campaign - plus as much again in political capital from Downing Street - the FA is willing to do everything it can to improve England's 2006 chances. The view is that the scale of the prize on offer means the gamble is worthwhile, that any short-term complaints will be swept aside come March if FIFA president Sepp Blatter announces England's most important away victory ever. On those terms, devaluing the FA Cup is a justifiable price. The pressure on the FA to send United to Brazil in January could not have been more clearly outlined than by Sports Minister Tony Banks' appearance at Westminster yesterday. Banks did not hesitate in telling the Commons the importance placed on United's participation, forecasting 'significant damage' would be dealt to the 2006 campaign if the European champions did not travel to South America. 'The FA and, indeed, the Government are asking Manchester United and all fans to do their best to enhance England's reputation and standing throughout the football world,' said Banks. 'Football fans are just as capable of recognising national effort and national interest as anyone else in this country.' Perhaps so, yet the stark fact that Lancaster Gate and Downing Street must privately ponder is whether all their efforts are being directed in pursuit of a target that has already been snatched away. England's bid-managers always knew they were starting behind their rivals, particularly South Africa and Germany. With the Germans, the big problem was the 1992 'gentlemen's agreement' to support their 2006 bid in return for Euro 96 backing, supposedly struck by former chairman Sir Bert Millichip. Privately, despite their public utterances, senior figures concede it was given, though they challenge Sir Bert's right to have done so without consultation. South Africa's clout was more political and perhaps even harder to deny. The reinvention of the one-time pariah state as the Rainbow Nation, led by arguably the world's favourite politician in Nelson Mandela, gave an opportunity for football's most obvious imbalance to be addressed - the World Cup on African soil. Even so, England's World Cup bid chiefs, led by the determined Alec McGivan, believed that by a clever and well-planned campaign they could make up the difference and come through on the rails to win. The key problem they faced is that England's diminished status in the modern game - no representation on the ruling executive committees of either UEFA or FIFA - meant a lack of real understanding of the political intrigue they must overcome to win. It is all well and good sending Sir Bobby Charlton and Sir Geoff Hurst around the world glad-handing, or paying for Peter Withe to become a national hero as coach of Thailand, but if they have nobody able to pull the levers of power, the struggle will always be an uphill one. FIFA has yet to decide how the vote for 2006 will be conducted in Zurich in March but the FA antagonised many of its European colleagues with the last-minute decision to switch support to Blatter from UEFA head Lennart Johansson in last summer's presidential vote, believing that the Swede's outspoken support for Germany meant they could not afford to see him replace Joao Havelange. That alienated many in what should have been England's natural power-base in UEFA and even though Johansson has declared a free vote for Europe's seven appointed voters, the three-line whip might be implicit. In addition, the thought that Blatter was merely paying lip-service to the African dream to secure support for his candidacy has been proved false. Blatter has become a confidant of United Nations General Secretary Kofi Annan and met publicly with Mandela on many occasions, regularly endorsing South Africa. The terrifying crime rates in Johannesburg, Cape Town and elsewhere will be raised in whispered asides by England and Germany, who both have far superior facilities but as one insider pointed out: 'You don't honestly expect the best bid to win, do you?' This month's controversial decision to award the 2006 Winter Olympics to Turin, even though the International Olympic Committee's own report argued firmly in favour of Sion, was the sort of warning shot that should send shivers down the collective spines of the England bid team. Lancaster Gate believes its global charm offensive has seduced a firm eight supporters from the 24-man executive committee, yet promises of a vote can easily dissipate under veiled threats or offers of future riches from the men who really count. Without anybody on the inside track, without a power-broker of their own, England's bid is at the mercy of the key players who wield the influence in Zurich. If the 99 members of the IOC can be persuaded to ignore the evidence, then consider how much easier it would be to coerce a majority from a 24-man electorate, many of whom harbour their own ambitions of long-term preferment. Banks and Lancaster Gate might well be right in fearing that failure to be represented in Brazil would deal a fatal blow to England's chances. However, the bid could be dead in the water already.
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Subject: UNITED FANS SLAM FA OFFER Manchester United fans have reacted angrily to the Football's Association offer to ditch the FA Cup in favour of the World Team Championship. The FA has proposed that the Treble winners can be exempt from next season's competition if they compete in the inaugural FIFA tournament in Brazil in January. The Independent Manchester United Supporters Association (IMUSA) claimed it was a shoddy act by the FA, who were willing to do anything to host the 2006 World Cup. A United website administrator spoke for many when he suggested that United be exempt from the FA and the club should tell them and FIFA to incorporate 'sex and travel' simultaneously. Outside Old Trafford this morning the feeling was similar. One fan said that David Davies was 'articulating through his derriere' whilst another stated that the FA were a 'collective of retarded illegitimate persons', and that the World Team Championship trophy should be 'Inserted into the posterior of the competitions pioneer, Mr Sepp Blatter." AXA BACK UNITED EXIT FA Cup sponsors AXA Assurance have backed the Football Association's offer to Manchester United to be exempt from next season's competition. The FA has proposed that United can opt out of the competition in return for playing in the inaugural FIFA World Team Championship in Brazil in January, which would boost England's bid to stage the 2006 World Cup. Even though United are the holders and the most successful team in the history of the FA Cup, AXA are happy with the FA's idea. A spokesman said "It gives the other clubs a chance of winning the trophy, and the company are concerned that United gained far more publicity from their Wembley triumph than AXA did. It would be far better for the likes of Wimbledon or Coventry to win it so more spotlight is on the sponsors and less on a dull game - let's face it, we don't give a toss about the action on the field."
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Subject: FA Cup's image may be ruined forever By Ian Gibb Monday, June 28, 1999 The FA Cup's image could be damaged beyond repair if Manchester United become the first major club to duck out of the competition in its 127-year history, according to Professional Footballers' Association chief executive Gordon Taylor. He is backing the controversial idea of United receiving a bye into a later round - a suggestion which has infuriated Chelsea chairman Ken Bates, vice-chairman of the Challenge Cup committee. Taylor warned: 'If United are not in, it would be very damaging to the status of the FA Cup. 'Surely we could allow the European Champions League winners to enter at a later stage. United should enter the world tournament for the prestige it would bring English football.' United fans are up in arms, claiming the club has all but had a gun held to its head. Andy Walsh, chairman of the Independent Manchester United Supporters' Association said: 'The club has been put in an unfair position. This is not United saying they do not want to play in the FA Cup. This is the FA willing to sacrifice the oldest domestic cup competition in the world at the high altar of TV. 'The move has more to do with world football politics than Manchester United being offered an opportunity. 'I doubt if the same opportunity would have been offered if England weren't bid-ding for the 2006 World Cup. The FA is willing to sacrifice anything to secure that. Alex Ferguson said before the Champions League Final that he didn't want to play in this world championship. What happens if FIFA decides the world championship should be extended to four weeks? Is the FA going to say sacrifice the Premier League as well?' Alison Pilling, chair of the Football Supporters' Association, said: 'The domestic league should come as top priority, then the FA Cup, then see where other competitions fit in after that. This is another example of TV and money setting the agenda.'
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Subject:WHY IT'S AN OUTRAGE TO DEBASE THE FA CUP BY ALLOWING MANCHESTER UNITED TO WITHDRAW 365.Opinion by Danny Kelly THE poker game developing between the Football Association and Manchester United over the treble winners' possible participation in next year's World Team Championships in Brazil may be upsetting both United fans and their rivals, but I for one don't blame United for trying to gain a personal advantage from this situation - who wouldn't do the same in these circumstances? United have suggested being awarded a bye through the early rounds of next season's FA Cup to avoid fixture congestion which will allow them to 'represent the country' in Brazil, while the FA themselves have offered the Old Trafford club the option of withdrawing from the famous old tournament altogether because they believe Alex Ferguson's outfit competing in South America will somehow strengthen their bid to stage the World Cup finals in 2006. But let's not kid ourselves. This phoney-baloney World Club Championship is simply an opportunity for Manchester United and the rest to make more money and provides them with another stepping stone on the way to the global Super League both they and the world's television chiefs would like to see. They've already got the European Super League on line for next season, now they want the whole damn planet. The plan cooked up by Lancaster Gate for United to opt out of the 1999-2000 FA Cup, sold to the public under this guise of solidifying the nation's bid to host the World Cup, is nothing short of deplorable, undermining the most famous and the greatest club knockout competition in the world. The proposal that England's most prestigious club can simply opt out of the FA Cup is a slap in the face for all the other football teams out there, from Sunday league outfits on Hackney Marshes to glamour clubs such as Chelsea and Arsenal. This is the FA Cup we're talking about here. And what of FA Cup sponsors AXA - who were no doubt sold the package of 'the premier club knockout cup in the world' only to see it usurped by a half-assed circus in South America, never mind the millions of fans who have coughed up increasing amounts of money over the past 110 years to watch their teams compete for the treasured FA Cup? The FA should surely be more interested in defending the bird in hand - the FA Cup - than selling football's heritage in the risky hope of capturing two in the bush - the 2006 World Cup. And anyway, is it really absolutely necessary for England to host the World Cup Finals? OK, the tournament taking place in England would be a right laugh and, given our frankly hopeless team, we would certainly gain some advantage. But ask fans if they would rather see the World Cup on these shores or the integrity and dignity of our club competitions, which we play year-in, year-out, retained. I've a pretty good idea that the answer will not be as one-sided as the authorities think. Remember Euro 96 when, embarrassingly, only 20,000 bothered going to games at St James' Park, Anfield and the City Ground to watch some of the world's true superstars play? Sadly, a lot of English fans just don't give a hoot for internationals if their team is not involved. The arrival of the World Cup in England is an obsession with the FA, the Sports Minister and the Prime Minister. All of them stand to benefit from globally broadcast photos of themselves grinning with Pele and taking the credit for 'revitalising' football in this country. It doesn't matter to them if the FA Cup is dismantled, or even the Premier League for that matter, because these political figureheads will soon have come, gone and retired to their posh country homes. But the ordinary fans will be left with nothing but memories of England's 2006 quarter-final defeat at Wembley (against Germany, on penalties) and the long-term prospect of a debased, reduced and inferior husk of what was once our domestic game. Of course, it would be great if England got the World Cup, but not at the expense of our traditional competitions. In any event, what if the 2006 finals still end up in the hands of South Africa or Germany after all this? All these machinations will be fruitless and their perpetrators seen to be idiots. Surely even Manchester United must be slightly perturbed at the prospect of being used as political pawns in a campaign that may or may not even succeed. Or is their co-operation simply the price of Alex Ferguson's knighthood?
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Subject: United poised to miss FA Cup Vivek Chaudhary and Ian Ross Tuesday June 29, 1999 Manchester United are to withdraw from next season's FA Cup in an unprecedented and controversial move that will anger sponsors and fans. United chairman Martin Edwards said last night that after days of negotiations with the Football Association and the Premier League the only sensible option for the club was to withdraw. The decision is expected to be ratified at a meeting of Manchester United directors and team manager Sir Alex Ferguson today and will allow the club to participate in next January's inaugural world club championship in Brazil. The prestigious eight-team tournament is being organised and backed by Fifa, world football's governing body. Mr Edwards said: "We have done a lot of talking with the Football Association and the Premier League and it does seem that the only sensible way is to withdraw from the FA Cup. "This is a chance for Manchester United to become the first champions of the world." Supporters groups and sponsors reacted angrily yesterday after it emerged that the FA had offered United a chance to withdraw from the Cup in return for participating in the new tournament. The club's presence in Brazil is seen as crucial to England's bid to secure the 2006 World Cup. Both the FA and sports minister Tony Banks have backed United's plans. Mr Banks said yesterday: "It is my estimation and of those close to the 2006 campaign that a failure by Manchester United to go to the new competition in Brazil would do irreparable damage to our 2006 World Cup campaign."
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Subject: ASSORTED FANS "RED" VIEWS: FA Cup yes/no? From: J callaghan I can't believe United are considering dropping out of the FA Cup. The cup has been the catalyst for nearly all our successes in recent seasons. Remember 1994, season going down the drain, then sparky strikes V Oldham and the whole thing is turned on its head. And who can forget 96, when erics last minute winner sent me into ecstasy. And what about this year? 2 of my fondest memories of last season were Ole's last minute winner V the scouse bastards and giggsy's amazing goal V the Arse. It could also be argued that the arsenal replay got our season going this year also, it gave us the determination and sense of invincibility that led us to the treble. We already have 1 world club championship against palmeiras so why another?. You could say united have brought this upon themselves by talking with Media partners last September, this new world championship Sepp Baltter thought up of is just another way of fighting the European super league. ******************** From: "Grixti, Randy" I don't see why Man United need the FA or FIFA approval on what they want to do. The simple solution is for Ferguson to decide which Cups he wants to win and then relegate the subs to play all others. Who cares if Man United sends the subs to play in Brazil and they lose? I don't. In the end it's up to Alex to decide and I'm pretty confident he will make to right choices, he always has. *********************** From: "John Walker" The 'offer' from the FA of allowing United not to take part in the FA Cup is merely a clever negotiating ploy. United should think carefully before responding, but we must remember that we have the upper hand. We must insist on taking part in the FA Cup as well as the World Club Tournament. We play the 4th round of the FA Cup on the 8th of January. This game could be moved to the 3rd of January and the league game against Middlesbrough rearranged. It's really quite simple, so why are the FA suggesting something so ridiculous? They are just trying to gain the moral high ground and make United look unreasonable, and United must be careful to reply intelligently. We must offer something constructive in response while explaining for all to see how degraded the FA Cup would be without the reigning holders. We must take part in the World Club Championship. We must take part in the FA Cup. The FA and the Premier League must accomodate us. Or they can go to hell and United act in our own interest. Glory Glory Man United :) *********************** From: Oded Regev Surely we are not going to accept this rediculous option?I can't believe this has come from the FA.If United don't take part in the FA Cup the tradition of the world's greatest cup competition is dead.We should be excused from the Worthington Cup,maybe given a bye to the 4th round and fixtures should be broght forward. To avoid predjudice crys the FA should announce that any English club taking part in this World Cup would be given these terms in the future. With all due respect i think it's ludicrous if we don't defend our cup.Nothing excites me more than winning the cup and especially the double(not to mention the treble). By the way this all the fault of rich clubs(like United) who forced the Champions League to grow.The national game is getting pushed further and further back. The story will go on....... "The proof will be in the pudding"
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Subject: Guardian Fiver Editorial HOW TO WIN TROPHIES AND INFLUENCE PEOPLE Deep in deepest Bootle, a bunch of fanatical Scousers have been working on a devious plan, a plan so devious that it could lead to Liverpool FC winning a trophy. Simply by manipulating the minds of FA officials, these crazed Merseysiders have forced Manchester United into a situation where they are expected to drop out of next season's FA Cup in orderto compete in the meaningless Club World Championship. Using up to the minute Scouse technology (known as a 'TonyBanks') the crazed loons have bamboozled United into believing that their participation in next February's Brazilian tourney is essential to England's prospects of hosting the 2006 World Cup. (Even though Fifa chief Sepp Blatter wants to give the tournament to one of the African bidders, South Africa or Morocco.) An FA Cup without Manchester United could leave the road open for deadly but frequently useless rivals Liverpool. Earlier today, simple Manchester United chairman Martin Edwards was buckling under the mental manipulation. "This is a very tricky situation and really it's a no-win situation," he said madly. "It will help the 2006 World Cup bid if we go and the government and the FA are obviously very keen that we go. If we don't go people will say that we are selfish and only looking after ourselves and not prepared to help the 2006 World Cup bid. But we will also be criticised if we say we're not going to compete in the FA Cup." Edwards followed his remarks with a little sit down. A decision from United is not expected until tomorrow. But the Fiver understands that the Scousers will be using the next few hours to launch another assault: a new offer from the FA offering United absence from the Worthington Cup in return for each player kissing Sepp Blatter on the cheek. Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier wasn't quoted as saying, "I'll take any type of trophy, me." * * * * * * * * * * * * *
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Subject: UNITED TO DECIDE ON FA CUP OFFER Manchester United have been drawing up plans to decide whether to take up the Football Association's offer to miss the FA Cup next season - but no decision will be made before Tuesday. The decision will be taken at board level, and United are trying to arrange a meeting of directors. However, Sir Bobby Charlton is away discussing a shirt sponsorship deal with beverage giants JN Nichols, makers of 'Vimto'. Multi-millionaire Chairman Martin Edwards is in secret talks with a Frozen Jubbly company over a proposed Takeover deal, and Maurice Watkins is in meetings with Granelli, who are proposing to take on the Ice Cream franchise at Old Trafford as long as the club rename their Stadium 'The 'Theatre of Ice Creams.' United have been made the unprecedented and pathetic offer by the FA so they can take part in FIFA's inaugural World Team Championship in January. A spokesman for the Premier League refused to comments on rumours that United may miss the whole of the domestic campaign in order to flounce around the globe, touting their big shiny European trophy and playing meaningless matches for large piles of money. Mr Edwards is believed to be 'very interested' in such a proposition, regarding Merchandising to be their no.1 target for the coming season.
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Subject: ANSWER TO DAVID DAVIES AND THE FA Dear Mr Davies, As it is the Government and you and your colleagues at the FA who are desperate to stage the World Cup in England in 2006, and so anxious for United to take part in the World Team Championship, I have an answer to the problem. I note your invitation for United to forfeit their entry to the FA Cup, and also to be sympathetic to fitting in the two League fixtures that will be postponed. There are at least two blank weekends during the season which are being reserved for International fixtures. Allow Manchester United exemption from International call-ups for two such dates, and they can fit in the two League fixtures scheduled in early January BEFORE the World Team Championship begins. Of course their opponents in these games should receive the same right. If the countries affected cannot field a team without United players there must be something seriously wrong with the world game. This would mean that the Premier League is not behind schedule, and that on Uniteds return, thay have potentially just one game to fit in, an FA Cup tie. You would surely acknowledge that the FA Cup, the oldest club competition in the world, should not be devalued by the absence of the holders. Likewise, FIFA would surely grant permission for what I have suggested to safeguard the participation of the European Champions into what is being billed as the greatest club competition ever staged. As you say yourself "We believe that it would send the worst possible signal to world football." I do not see why United should not participate fully in a domestic season for the sake of a FIFA-inspired 'glamour' tournament at the expense of the traditional English season, denying its supporters the right to see its club take part in the FA Cup. Will Real Madrid, invited as holders in 1998, be left out of the Spanish Cup, or if United do not enter, will Bayern Munich be exempted from the German Cup? I doubt it. If Club football is to take a higher profile, then FIFA and the FA must accept that International football will have to make concessions. Paul Hinson (email p.l.hinson@ais.salford.ac.uk) MUTV Masterfan Quiz Champion 1999
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Subject: FAC exemption .... negative emails from non-REDS sent to 365 E-Mails On Alex Ferguson's Suggestion That Manchester United Get A Bye Into The FA Cup's Fourth Round ------------------------- The Danger Of Favouritism Re: Should Man U receive a bye. Let's not forget that the main reason they want to play in Brazil is a financial one. They will use the FA's interest as a smokescreen. Why should the rest of English football bow and scrape to this monster of a club? I care more for my club (Everton) and football in general than whether England stage the World Cup. A combination of TV, sponsorship etc has changed our football massively but as yet has never let one club have special treatment above all others. Let that remain so. Paul ...Sir Alex Ferguson's request for a bye in next season's FA Cup typifies the arrogance with which he, and his club, conduct their business. Sir Alex whines and moans his way through every season, blaming everyone from the referee to the tea lady when things don't go the way he wants. Now he is attempting to gain an advantage by getting into the fourth round of the FA Cup without playing a match. Man U is the largest club in England. If it's beyond their capability to field a side for a third round tie, then they should forfeit the game and be eliminated from the competition. In other words, not a bye but a bye-bye. Nobody is forcing Man U to play in Brazil. I suspect Fergie sees it as an ideal mid-season break. All this stuff about doing it for England just doesn't wash - he's a Scotsman! Nobody can take away the marvellous achievements of Sir Alex Ferguson. But by attempting to gain an advantage in this way he demeans himself, his club, the FA Cup competition and the whole of football. I trust that the FA will do the right thing and decline. Andy Sennitt, The Netherlands ...Although I agree with Alex Ferguson that success in the Premier League is now shadowed with unnecessary fixture congestion, he is addressing the problem in completely the wrong manner. United should re-establish their calls for a reduction in the number of teams in the Premier League. Each year there are at least two teams that are not of Premier League standard. Some will argue that this will increase the inequities between the "have" and the "have not" clubs. Reducing the Premier League by two clubs, however, will unlock fixture jams and may stop the bigger clubs from ultimately removing themselves from domestic competition and ONLY focusing on Europe. If the latter ever occurs, the current gap between large and small clubs will increase to incomparable dimensions. As Emmanuel Petit has said, give the players a break at Christmas, particularly if the World Cup is to occur every two years as looks likely. Ian R Macdonald (Arsenal fan), New York City, USA ...Here we go again. What do they want now? You want to play for the League Championship? You want to play for the FA Cup? You want to play for the League Cup? Every other team in the league does and finds a way to do so. You want to play in the European Cup? World Club Championship? This is a "benefit" your brethren don't have. The reason you have the opportunity to play in these tournaments is due to what you did the previous season. You won the tournament and made A LOT OF MONEY doing it. Suck it up, buy the "extra' players you need to play the "extra" games and get on with it. Any team in their right mind would bend over backwards to play in these tournaments. Just because you "have to play" all the extra matches shouldn't give you the God-given right of a bye to the fourth round of the FA Cup - you have to earn it like everyone else. If United are so concerned about the extra "tournaments" and the money, they should drop out of the FA Cup entirely. Why are the rules always rewritten for you Alex? Mark E Hall, Portland, Maine, USA ... Come on! The press salivate over United most of the time. As soon as anything goes against them, Ferguson is moaning and pressuring the FA and referees and, as a consequence of being successful, wants more special treatment. If it was any other team, people would be laughing their socks off at the mere suggestion. Make them go and represent the English FA, and make them play the domestic competitions like everyone else! Alan Casey, Auckland, New Zealand ...If they can't cope with all the fixtures they should not enter the Brazil tournament. Stop trying to hold the FA and the rest of the football nation to ransom Fergie! Rob Black ...With regard to Sir Alex's suggestion to be given a bye in the FA Cup to allow The Corporation to compete in the World Club Championship (a generous offer of sacrifice to allow the nation to get the World Cup), why don't we just give him the FA Cup (and the others come to that!) as he clearly believes they are his by right. Once we have done this surely we can tell him to f*** off, start some new "competitions" and get back to actually enjoying the sport instead of having to listen to how the magnificent multinational is "by far the greatest team the world has ever seen." (For "greatest" read "extraordinarily luckiest"). Ian Coles, Los Angeles, USA ...In the same week as Wimbledon, it's ironic that footballers complain about too many games. Tennis players are having to play day after day - with games sometimes lasting three hours - but they just carry on. The top players play for top clubs for a reason - they are the best at what they do and they are paid the best money for what they do. Surely they can put up with 90 minutes of football every four days? If not, give the rest of us a chance! Perry ...Yes, Fergie's team is in danger of being stretched too far. No, you cannot hope to win silverware with so many games ahead of you. No, the squad isn't big enough to cope with the demands of such a hectic schedule. Great isn't it!?! Don Rigsworth ...I read 365 regularly and nothing has astonished me so much as Sir Alex's suggestion that Man U should be given a bye for the FA Cup. Such a suggestion is arrogant, pompous and beggars belief. If Man U want the riches that they will derive from the World Club Championship then they must shut up or put up. To grant such a request would dilute the value of the FA Cup and to my mind it is a non-starter. I think winning the Treble has addled his brain. Nigel Kinder, New York, USA ...Re: Man United bye in the FA Cup. No, absolutely not!! If Man Utd are that concerned about fixture congestion and burnout, let them play the kids in the earlier FA Cup rounds. FA does not stand for Fergie Association! Yankeedog, USA Give Fergie's Boys A Break I think it's unbelievable the amount of games that my beloved United are going to have to play this season. To be honest, I don't think that second place in the league should win a place in the 'Champions' League, let alone third position (even though we benefited last year!) Either UEFA are going to have to shrink the size of the Champions Cup, or the FA will have to seriously consider changing the Premiership to have 18 teams. The United squad of last season won't be able to cope, unless at least two more players are signed. Andrew Delves ...I think Man United could handle their unbelievable schedule next season because: 1) They have one of the greatest managers in the world in Alex Ferguson and he will know exactly what to do with the players. 2) They have so many top-class international players such as new signing Mark Bosnich, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Teddy Sheringham and Henning Berg. 3) United never put out their full strength team for unimportant cups. And they have such a big squad. I think United will come out with three or more cups. Declan McCarthy, Lixnaw, Co.Kerry, Ireland ...Instead of giving them a bye into the FA Cup fourth round, why don't the FA consider letting the Premiership clubs field a weaker team if they see fit in the cup competitions, be it the FA Cup or the League Cup? For teams like Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United, it will be good for them to train their up and coming youngsters. The lesser teams will still be able to put in their best squad as there is still the berth of Europe to look forward to if they win. Victor Tay, Singapore ...I think the FA should make the season longer for all Premiership clubs. Some teams like Manchester United are playing three games a week. Players need to rest after games and if it wasn't for Man U's huge squad, they would be in deep trouble. Give them a break! Malcolm Isaacs
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Subject: United told to forget the FA Cup By Martin Lipton Monday, June 28, 1999 Manchester United will not play in next season's FA Cup. In a sensational move, the FA last night offered the holders a one-year exemption after manager Alex Ferguson had threatened to pull United out of the World Club Championship in Brazil in January. United, worried about fixture congestion, are expected to agree to the compromise. But it will inflict serious damage on the credibility of the FA Cup, the world's oldest knock-out competition. An emergency meeting of the FA's executive committee was called last night and it decided that bolstering England's 2006 World Cup bid meant more than 127 years of football history. Committee members, including Arsenal vice-chairman David Dein and Premier League chairman David Richards, were understood to be unanimous in their decision. David Davies, the FA executive director, last night gave details of the offer to United chairman Martin Edwards, whose club faced the prospect of playing a daunting 77 matches next season. The FA drew parallels with the decision made in 1955 when Chelsea were refused permission to take part inthe first European Champions Cup. It is a mistake the FA is determined not to repeat. But despite the support of Dein and Chelsea chairman Ken Bates, the decision will cause consternation among supporters and other areas of the game with Lancaster Gate being accused of turning the FA Cup into a second-class competition. Davies implicitly accepted the charge would be levelled when he said: 'In terms of the integrity of the FA Cup, we point out that these are unprecedented circumstances. 'The World Club Championship will never again be held in January and that is why we felt we had to make this unprecedented offer.' What is clear is that the political capital - and millions of pounds - that Downing Street and Prime Minister Tony Blair have invested in the 2006 bid has swayed the FA. If United, whose director Sir Bobby Charlton is spearheading the 2006 campaign, did not travel to South America, their place would be taken by Bayern Munich, the side they beat so dramatically in last month's Champions League Final in Barcelona. Bayern president Franz Beckenbauer leads the German bid for the finals and the British Government - through Sports Minister Tony Banks and the Downing Street public relations machine - has told the FA that a United no-show could scupper any hopes of hosting the World Cup finals. Although United could decide not to take up the offer, Sir Bobby's role in the 2006 bid means they are honour-bound to travel to Brazil. So keen was the FA for United to fly the flag that it seriously considered Ferguson's request for them to receive a bye into the last 16. The idea was rejected only because of the knock-on effect for the earlier rounds of the competition. Davies attempted to play down the controversy the decision will cause by stressing the importance of the World Club Championship. He said: 'We believe Manchester United, as the biggest club in the world, should get the chance to take the opportunity of playing against the best sides in the world. 'United will be required to be away for 14 days, including travelling time. That's a period which covers two Premiership games, the fourth round of the FA Cup and also the semi-finals of the Worthington Cup. 'We have worked over the past two weeks with Manchester United, the Premier League and the Government to find a solution. 'But this is a great opportunity, not only for United but also for English football and it was decided that this was the cleanest way to fulfil our obligations.' England's diminished status in the corridors of footballing power means that the FA feels it cannot afford to jeopardise the 2006 bid in any way. Davies admitted the decision reflected the FA's 'commitment to playing a major role on the world football stage' and added: 'If we turned our back on this competition it would send the worst possible signal to world football.' But last night's decision will send out the worst signals to the game in this country. However much the FA tries to deny the fact, it has effectively admitted that the FA Cup does not matter any more. The World Club Championship will be staged in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo between January 5 and 14. Eight clubs will compete - United plus the champions of South America, Africa, Asia, Oceania plus Central and North America. Also invited are Real Madrid, as current holders of the World Club Cup, plus the national champions of the host nation - which, in this case, will be Corinthians of Brazil.
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