Football: Kelly in crisis talks

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The Independent Online
GRAHAM KELLY, the chief executive of the Football Association, is returning from Spain today to attend a crucial discussion on the future of the Premier League. In the company of the chairman of the FA, Sir Bert Millichip, and their Premier League counterparts, Sir John Quinton and Rick Parry, Kelly will be attempting to solve a potential constitutional crisis.

The complications have arisen as a result of eight clubs blocking the acceptance of a pounds 13m Bass Premier League sponsorship deal and seven others bringing the London meeting at which it was being discussed to a premature end by walking out. Parry subsequently admitted: 'We have a major risk. We have hit a brick wall with something of a thud. The whole concept of one club, one vote is proving unworkable.'

Kelly, who is with the England team in Santander, where they play Spain tomorrow, said: 'We are concerned about the internal wrangling, which is very damaging.'

The Crystal Palace chairman, Ron Noades, led the walkout over what was interpreted as a block vote to obstruct the sponsorship deal which some clubs felt might have conflicted with their own arrangements.

Parry said: 'The fear of those who walked out was that the voting system has become a sham, because eight clubs can get together and block decisions.'

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