Football: FA will rule today on Stevenage tie
Friday 09 January 1998
The FA gave the go-ahead for the match to take place at non-League Stevenage's Broadhall Way stadium following a meeting of safety experts earlier this week.
But Newcastle yesterday complained that the ground, which will have its capacity increased from 6,600 to 8,000 for the televised match on 25 January with temporary seating, is not large enough and have faxed the FA with a detailed complaint.
The public row that has broken out between the clubs has marred the build- up to the game and Newcastle's fans have accused their side of going "completely over the top" with their objections.
John Regan, secretary of the Newcastle Independent Supporters' Association, said: "The whole thing has turned into a farce and all this bickering is taking the gloss off the tie for Stevenage. As far as the supporters are concerned, Stevenage were first out of the hat, it is their home tie, they have a safety certificate and that should be that."
In a local poll on Tyneside, 70 per cent of the club's fans backed the Vauxhall Conference side's right to host the tie.
Newcastle announced their intention to appeal against the FA's decision to allow Stevenage to host the match following a visit by their own safety officer to the Hertfordshire ground.
The Premiership club have insisted that "a ground of this size" would be "totally unsuitable bearing in mind the immense interest in the tie and the anticipated level of support from Newcastle fans for this match". Stevenage responded by accusing Newcastle of "Big Brother" tactics.
Meanwhile, Jonathan Brown, chairman of the safety advisory group which took the decision to allow the match to go ahead, maintained that everyone involved in the unanimous decision at Tuesday's meeting knew exactly what they were doing.
Brown said: "We are clearly satisfied that the ground is safe, providing that certain conditions are met. We looked at the issue in depth and it is obviously not something we take lightly. We can assure people that our prime consideration is safety, as is the club's."
Latest in Sport
Petr Cech demands talks over Chelsea future as Thibaut Courtois begs him to stay – as mentor
Angel Di Maria: Manchester United to push ahead with £50m move for Real Madrid winger
Marcos Rojo to Manchester United: Sporting Lisbon confirm deal with Nani heading back to Portugal on loan
Sami Khedira to Arsenal: Midfield omitted from Real Madrid squad for Spanish Super Cup
David Gold furious after Carlton Cole parody account mocks up a picture of West Ham chairman as a suspect in the Madeleine McCann case
- 1 Michael Brown shooting: Police shoot and kill second young black man near Ferguson
- 2 James Foley 'beheaded': Isis video shows militant with British accent 'execute US journalist' – and warns Obama of more to come
- 3 Why are UK rail fares so expensive?
- 4 Here’s the damning letter Robin Williams wrote to his Mrs Doubtfire co-star's principal after they expelled her
- 5 Cilla Black defends Cliff Richard: 'I am positive that the allegations are without foundation'
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Crisis? What crisis? A visiting US doctor gives the NHS a rave review
Russell Brand calls for Israel boycott: Comedian urges big businesses that 'facilitate the oppression of people in Gaza' to pull funding
Ukip MEP calls for reintroduction of death penalty on fiftieth anniversary of last deaths
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
£35000 - £43000 Per Annum plus excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions...
£650 per day: Harrington Starr: C#.NET Developer ASP.Net, C#.net, WCF, WPF, .N...
£35000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: Principal Arboricu...
£17000 - £18000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Trainee Digital Fo...