Sports Letters: Fake progress

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The Independent Online
Sir: I cannot believe the hypocrisy of the Football Association. Or rather, based on their recent track record, I can but it still alarms me.

Imagine if there was no England 2006 World Cup bid on the table. The message to Manchester United would be "play in the FA Cup or else". And quite rightly so. The FA Cup is what it's all about.

But the FA do have their precious 2006 bid. So once again, in the cause of money, yet more football is inaccessible to the real fan (I ask you, how many people can really afford to travel to Rio?)

At the current rate of "progress", five years from now there will be only 20 clubs left in this country. They will "represent" the UK in various European and world competitions where vast (but soon dwindling) TV audiences will pay millions to watch games in empty stadia. Real fans will simply not be able to afford to go.

That our own Football Association, whose duty it is to protect football in this country, should purposefully support such "progress" in its own short-term interests totally disgusts me.

JON LEIGH

Ilkley, Yorkshire

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