Bryan Robson backs Alex Ferguson view on FA Cup semi-finals

Bryan Robson has backed Sir Alex Ferguson's claim that next month's FA Cup semi-finals should not be held at Wembley.

Ferguson has made the point that with all four competing clubs heading to London from the north west, fans are having to incur unreasonable cost whilst both police and traffic services will be stretched on the same weekend as the London Marathon is being held and Arsenal play Liverpool in the Premier League.

The Football Association have held semi-finals at Wembley since 2008 as part of the stadium's revenue streams for repaying the huge cost of construction.

They also argue that with its 90,000 capacity, it is the only suitable venue for the Manchester derby between United and City on April 16 and the rare appearances of both Bolton and Stoke at this stage of the competition mean the second game 24 hours later will also be a sell-out.

However, Robson, who skippered United to three triumphs in the competition, disagrees.

"Sir Alex is right to point these things out because of everything that is going on in London," he said.

"It will be a big problem for the police and there will be traffic issues as well.

"Maybe it would have been better playing at Villa Park, just to take a little bit of pressure away."

In addition, there is the sporting element, with Robson believing the prize of reaching the final is diminished because last four encounters have taken place at the same ground.

"I have always thought the final is the one that is played at Wembley," he said.

"The rest should be at a neutral ground. That is the prize for getting to the final."

Robson was speaking at the Soccerex Conference, which opened today in Manchester.

It was a welcome appearance from the former England skipper, who was forced to have an operation to remove a cancerous tumour from his throat earlier this month.

The 54-year-old must now undergo five sessions of radiotherapy but looks healthy and feels confident of making a full recovery.

"I would like to thank all the fans for their well-wishes," he said.

"I am feeling fine in myself.

"The operation to take the tumour out was successful. All the specialists have been positive and said that I should make a 100% recovery.

"That is all I wanted to hear. I will get on with the treatment and try to be as positive as I can be."

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