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My ten-point plan to save the FA Cup, from terrible throws and wooden rattles to getting rid of replays for good

What a glorious way the Old Lady kicked off her 150th birthday celebration – with the best FA Cup third-round weekend in years.

The Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia has come up with a good Ronnie Radfording.

Cambridge shocked the FA Cup third round by beating Newcastle

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Cambridge shocked the FA Cup third round by beating Newcastle

The fearsome European Super Cup breakaway bandits have been defeated by a club that has actually won the European Cup twice.

The sixth-ranked Kidderminster scored an ugly goal that VAR found at least six different reasons for not allowing it.

This is what people want. Here’s what they need.

A classic third round to cherish, with fans returning to the stadium, the rich and pompous have cut to size.

An opportunity to savor the essence of English football at the first opportunity since its six biggest clubs attempted to strip it of its sporting integrity.

A trip down Memory Lane with all the potholes removed.

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When Saudi human rights violators turned Newcastle into the richest club on Earth, they thought they were buying a club rich in tradition – and how they were right.

No one has humiliated the FA Cup quite quite like Geordies – Hereford, Stevenage and now Cambridge, who did the dirty work at St James’ Park with Newcastle putting up the strongest team available, including a top signing Saudi Arabia’s first Kieran Trippier, while Amanda Staveley and her money-hungry men watched from plush chairs.

Arsenal fooled themselves that they were too big for English football, even though they had never won a European Cup, didn’t qualify for the Champions League for four years, or won it at the age of 18.

They were shunned, however, by Nottingham Forest, who had retained the Old Big Ears under Old Big ‘Ead, and were threatening to rise again under the impressive Steve Cooper.

Newcastle's ultra-wealthy owners will go crazy surrendering their FA Cup

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Newcastle’s ultra-wealthy owners will go crazy surrendering their FA Cup

There are great tantrums from Arsenal’s Nuno Tavares and Allan Saint-Maximin of Newcastle.

As Tanguy Ndombele, as Tottenham raced past League One Morecambe midway through the second half, all the while allowing us to enjoy an authentic third track of mocking laughs. Everywhere you look there are sights to be excited about.

Kidderminster, the lowest club in the competition, staged a comeback to beat Championship Reading with a fearsome two goals.

Boreham Wood also came forward with an absolute slam dunk from Tyrone Marsh – beating Wimbledon and proving that even famous giant assassins are vulnerable to self-indulgence.

Non-league Chesterfield visited European champions Chelsea with 6,000 fans traveling packed with The Shed – testament to the uniquely profound support for English football, an unprecedented phenomenon. ant in any other country.

And the Barnsley 5 Barrow 4, feels like a dotted line cut out of a 1950s newspaper, and should have featured men in flat hats, smoking Woodbines. So now let’s keep the FA Cup a reality with a daring ten-point plan.

  • Good scrappy replays, not just in Covid. A one-off relationship increases the likelihood of shocks and eases permanent bottlenecks, which makes top flight bosses hesitant to flip the whole thing.
  • Remove VAR for all relationships. It’s ridiculous to have it on some courts and not others, so shamelessly make the Cup old-school. And while we’re at it, let’s openly encourage refs to go back to 1970s interpretations of what constitutes a foul, reservation or take off (especially many seems to do this in Cup matches on an ad-hoc basis).
  • Eliminates weird staggered start times for matches that aren’t televised. There must be an absolute rush of games at 3pm on the Saturday of the third inning.
  • The relationship between the clubs with the largest disparity between positions in the league must be broadcast live on TV. Who came up with the news about West Ham v Leeds, when we can watch Kidderminster v Reading?
  • The draw for the trophy moved to Monday lunchtime, with school kids huddled on a circular transistor radio, and was done by grumpy old FA councilors with slick bags, instead of former players. This is not showbiz, it’s tradition. Oh and don’t televise it, so they can make it more interesting. Only three of the 16 matches in the fourth round had a club held to a draw at home against a higher tier team. Just fix it up a bit instead.
  • Terrible playing surfaces are openly encouraged. And was always called the ‘great leveler’.
  • Insist, by local authorities having the force of law, that every store in Kidderminster, Borehamwood and Cambridge be decorated in homegrown colors for at least a week before the fourth round. That is your civic duty.
  • Children attending matches must be ordered to replace banners begging for players’ shirts with FA Cups made of poor quality tinfoil in the house. You spoiled, the kids have rights. Some of us can remember the calendar of adventures without chocolates in it.
  • Discounted admission tickets for fans carrying wooden rattles.
  • The National Cup Finals start time is 3pm – AFTER the season ends. Team accessories will be televised, brooches and finalists will be asked to record the National Cup Final songs, sung by the players themselves. Full TV access to team hotels and buses on Finals day. Follow them to the restroom if you like. It’s the Cup final. That is our birthright.

WHEN Tottenham continued to take the lead last season, Jose Mourinho crossed the line with the comment ‘same coach, different players’.

On Sunday, Mourinho – a once great defensive manager – saw his Roma side take a 3-1 lead to lose 4-3 to Juventus.

Different players, same coach.

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There may have been Derby fans groaning at the news that former Newcastle owner Mike Ashley is eyeing a buyout of the crisis-stricken club.

But for now, the model Ashley uses – run a football club sparingly, don’t completely ignore it, and end up selling to the super rich – doesn’t seem all that bad.


AS England’s cricketers celebrate as they dodge Ashes by narrow margin, it’s time to shake up the culture of politeness that has left them bottom of the ICC World Test Championship table.

When they fell to the bottom of the Tests rankings in 1999, Nasser Hussain – our best captain for the last 40 years – changed fortunes with an uncompromising determination to tolerate England, so to speak. his own, ‘Raggy-Arsed Rangers’.

Hussain is England’s manager out of the current mess.

The ECB had to put all that prize money from their ‘Hundred’ bish-bosh contest to good use, by making him an offer he couldn’t refuse.


IF YOU’ve never been to Australia – and certainly if you’ve never worked there – you can imagine it as a laid-back, laid-back ‘worry-free mate’, Summer Bay at Home and Away, kind of a place.

The truth is that there is no noisy, nanny-like, underemployed country on Earth.

And while dissidents like Novak Djokovic can be dangerously selfish, the sad thing is that the Australian should have beaten the 20-time Slam champion to fly to the lower division, then had his visa revoked, imprisoned and humiliated him.

There are no good people in this row.

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https://www.thesun.ie/sport/football/8185214/fa-cup-newcastle-cambridge-dave-kidd/ My ten-point plan to save the FA Cup, from terrible throws and wooden rattles to getting rid of replays for good

Fry Electronics Team

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