FA bigwig Taylor trashes FA Cup revamp plan

By Charles Sale for the Daily Mail

FA proposals to revamp the FA Cup look dead after one of the body's most senior committee members described them as 'nonsense'.

FA vice-president Barry Taylor, a former chairman and current member of the FA Cup committee, says all 18 clubs that he represents want the tournament to keep its current structure - especially replays - with no seeding or regionalisation.

And Sunday's high drama of Leyton Orient grabbing a draw to take Arsenal back to the Emirates for a fifth-round replay was the best possible advertisement for not tampering with the competition.

Cup fever: Orient's dramatic draw against Arsenal has further fired lower league enthusiasm for the FA Cup

Cup fever: Orient's dramatic draw against Arsenal has further fired lower league enthusiasm for the FA Cup

Barnsley director Taylor said: 'The FA should remain strong and resolute and not let other people mess around with the unique FA Cup. Most of the suggestions I have seen are nonsense. The FA Cup is about football for the whole country, not just for a certain few.'

West Ham co-owner David Gold, whose team played Burnley in the fifth round last night, was the Premier League chief most strongly in favour of scrapping replays when the top-flight clubs discussed revamping the competition at their last summit.

Barnet chairman Tony Kleanthous told the FA Cup delegation at a Football League board meeting that the only way lower-league clubs would accept replays disappearing was if rules ensured the big sides played their strongest teams in the tournament. And that's not going to happen.


FIFA have an opportunity to start repairing their reputation after the World Cup vote debacle if South Africa's Danny Jordaan is voted on to the ExCo committee at the CAF congress in Khartoum tomorrow.

Jordaan, who is held in the highest esteem throughout football after his pivotal role in bringing the World Cup to Africa and then staging it successfully, has been on the campaign trail to win support.

But football politics means Jordaan, who did not come through the CAF ranks, is not certain to win one of the two African places on FIFA up for grabs.

Even their own lead commentator Clive Tyldesley has had a go at the ITV FA Cup highlights programme, moaning on Twitter that his name had been spelled wrongly on a caption despite his 15 years there.

David Pleat's welcome return to ITV as co-commentator on the Orient-Arsenal game, after being shown the door in 2009, was not what it seemed. Pleat works for ESPN, who pool their joint Cup coverage for the ITV highlights show.

Colourful entrepreneur Stephen Cleeve is prepared to meet Wrexham fans to explain why he should be given a chance to rescue the Conference club, who are in danger of going under by the end of the month unless £500,000 is quickly found.

Cleeve's chequered business past has upset supporters. But he claims to have the cash and the appetite to keep Wrexham afloat - if made welcome.


Fish plan's had its chips

An area at the back of the Olympic Stadium has been pinpointed for the £10million temporary three-storey structure that will house the official London 2012 corporate hospitality operation being run by Prestige Ticketing Ltd.

It just so happens the building will block out some of the view of the stadium from Forman's fish factory just outside the Park, from which owner Lance Forman has grand plans to make as much as £1m a day during the Games from renting out his premises.

Fine view: Forman's fish factory had planned to rent its premises during the Games for up to £1m per day

Fine view: Forman's fish factory had planned to rent its premises during the Games for up to £1m per day

London claim it is the only suitable position in the 600-acre Park for their hospitality location, and had nothing to do with spiking Forman's guns. Lance said: 'There's plenty of business to go around. I'm not upset.'


BETFRED are no longer official bookmakers at Manchester United. But Sir Alex Ferguson's friendship with Peter Done, co-owner with brother Fred of the betting shop chain, extended to them sharing a helicopter to Newbury races last week.

Peter leaves Fred to run Betfred while he looks after Peninsular Business Services, a huge employment law consultancy.