Football: Millichip and Kelly fail to agree on the way ahead

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The Independent Online
THE Football Association was deeply divided last night over how to respond to the growing clamour for Graham Taylor's resignation as England manager after the embarrassing defeat by the United States in Foxborough on Wednesday.

Bert Millichip, the chairman of the FA, indicated that Taylor's job was in jeopardy as his demoralised squad flew into Washington for Sunday's match against Brazil. Millichip admitted he had been embarrassed by successive losses to Norway and the Americans, and added that Taylor's position would be considered at the FA's annual meeting in Bournemouth on 26 June, a week after the conclusion of the ill-fated US Cup tour. 'There are matters we have to give thought to,' he said.

However, Graham Kelly, the FA chief executive, contradicted his colleague, saying that the issue will not even be on the agenda in Bournemouth. 'Taylor is still the right man for the job,' Kelly said.

Earlier, Millichip had pointedly refused to associate himself with the remarks of Peter Swales, the chairman of the FA's international committee, who had given Taylor what amounted to a vote of confidence.

Swales said: 'Graham has brought us this far, and two bad results is not the end of the world. If he gets us to the World Cup, he will be a hero again.'

Swales was entitled to his opinion, Millichip said - making it clear that it was one he did not share. The FA chairman revealed that he was canvassing his fellow FA Council members about the events of the past six weeks.

Did the FA chairman sympathise with England's travelling supporters, who had endured a second humiliating defeat? Apparently not. 'I feel more sorry for myself,' he said. 'It has been a very embarrassing situation, but it is not the end of the world. I am not going to express my views to you until I have given them to my colleagues on the FA, but there are matters we have to give thought to.'