Football: Trophy finalists look for new deal: Runcorn and Woking meet in Wembley's non-League showpiece

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The Independent Online
A DISPUTE about the distribution of television income has soured the build-up to today's FA Trophy final at Wembley, where Runcorn, last season's beaten finalists, meet Woking.

The match is being screened live by Sky Sports, but the two finalists will not see any of the fee paid by the satellite broadcasters. This is a particular blow to Runcorn, who are in desperate need of funds to rebuild their main stand, which was burned down last month.

'It is very disappointing,' David Robinson, Runcorn's chairman, said. 'The FA are keeping all the money. We only had the news confirmed this week.' Woking are also making a plea for a share of the proceeds.

David Bloomfield, the Football Association's press officer, said: 'Sky are giving the tournament greater exposure. This is not a money-making opportunity for the FA - it is all about publicising the game at this level.'

Runcorn, who were well beaten by Wycombe Wanderers in last year's final, have done well to reach Wembley again, and finish seventh in the GM Vauxhall Conference, since the fire at Canal Street ruled their home ground out of bounds for the closing weeks of the season. John Carroll, their manager since 1992, has had a tough job on a limited budget. 'John has performed miracles,' Robinson said. 'He has earned respect for the club, which we had lost.'

This will be Runcorn's third trip to Wembley - they were beaten by Altrincham in the 1986 Trophy final - while it is Woking's second visit.

The Surrey club won the FA Amateur Cup in 1958 but when Geoff Chapple, their manager, arrived at Kingfield Stadium almost 10 years ago the Cards were in the doldrums. He has guided Woking from the Second Division South of the Isthmian League to a third- place finish in the Conference this season. His key player today could be Clive Walker, the former Chelsea winger.

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