Yeading lose right to host Newcastle tie

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The Independent Football

Non-league Yeading have been told to find another venue for their FA Cup third-round tie with Newcastle.

Non-league Yeading have been told to find another venue for their FA Cup third-round tie with Newcastle.

The Ryman League club had hoped to stage the game next month at their 3,500-capacity home, The Warren, after being told they could not switch it to St James' Park.

Meetings were held with police and the local authority earlier this week, after which the club decided to use their own stadium.

But they have now admitted that the ground cannot meet FA rules and face the problem of finding a new venue which, under the competition's regulations, must be the nearest suitable.

"Yeading FC have informed the FA that their ground, The Warren, will not be able to stage the FA Cup third-round tie with Newcastle United," said an FA spokesman.

"The FA has accepted Yeading's position and alternative venues for the match will now be assessed. FA Cup rules state that match venues may only be switched for safety and security reasons, and that in cases where the home team's stadium is not suitable, the first alternative venue is the nearest suitable ground, subject to FA approval.

"Yeading had initially confirmed that they would be able to stage the tie. The confirmed venue will now be announced in due course."

According to guidelines, the alternative venue should be within an approximate radius of 20 miles, meaning that Queen's Park Rangers, Brentford and Wycombe could host the tie.

Today's news may come as a disappointment to the BBC, which had chosen to broadcast the game live.

The FA moved to strengthen its rules on venues after Farnborough's tie with Arsenal two years ago was switched to Highbury for safety reasons. Since then clubs have been required to state their maximum capacity and give an undertaking that they can stage all fixtures, regardless of opposition, before the competition starts.

The FA has also banned the switching of ties for financial reasons. If games still have to be moved, the nearest available neutral ground must first be considered and any extra income paid into a central pool.

The tie against Newcastle gives Yeading the chance to attempt an FA Cup giant-killing feat, and after the draw striker Dudley Campbell said, "I can't wait. We'll give it our best shot but I'm not too sure. The team is quite young and there's potential."