Letter: Football devalued

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The Independent Culture
Sir: I cannot believe the hypocrisy of the Football Association ("United given chance to miss FA Cup", 28 June).

If there was no England 2006 World Cup bid on the table, the message to Manchester United would be "play in the FA Cup or else." And quite rightly so.

But the FA do have their precious 2006 bid. So once again, in the cause of money, there will be yet more football inaccessible to the real fan. How many people can afford to travel to Rio?

Whoever wins the FA Cup in 2000 will always have their victory devalued.

We already have a European Super League in all but name. We have international matches seemingly all the time. We have the World Cup. We have the European Championships. And now we are supposed to have a World Club Championship. That's one more competition to devalue our domestic game (the real bread and butter of football for real fans) even further.

At the current rate of progress, five years from now there will be only 20 clubs left in the UK. They will "represent" the UK in various European and world competitions where vast (but soon dwindling) TV audiences will pay millions to watch games played in empty stadiums.

DEREK SMITH

Preston, Lancashire

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