Thursday, July 11 – 1985
English clubs were readmitted into world football yesterday. But relaxation on FIFA’s ban will not have much immediate effect on the clubs. The European ban stays and that means that Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are still a no-go area.
Peter Robinson, Liverpool’s chief executive, says: “At least it is a valuable step, but we won’t be takin any advantage from it in the next 12 months.
“We can’t arrange anything pre-season and very few will want to go to the Middle East at this time of the year – it is a far too hot.
“I doubt, at he same time, whether many will want to travel to Australia or the Americas, during the season, simply because of the distance and travelling involved.”
Ted Croker, the FA secretary, who has worked hard to try and have the ban lifted says: “I am still disappointed that the ban on friendly games throughout Europe still remains.
“Even so, we have made progress and it’s probably as much as we could have hoped for at this stage.”
Croker adds: “The most important thing is we are involved again.”
Norwich, one of the first clubs to react to the decision, hope to take part in a tournament in Saudi Arabia.
The Second Division club had lined up a trip to the Middle East to play in a tournament against Manchester United, Liverpool, Everton, Spurs, and Southampton before FIFA stepped in and chairman Sir Arthur South said: “We will start having talks with the other clubs and hope it can go ahead.”
Mrs. Thatcher’s government still at loggerheads with the football authorities over membership cards for football fans, “are impatient for action.” FA chairman, Bert Millichip said yesterday.
But Football League secretary Graham Kelly was adamant there was “no way” a national scheme would be introduced.
(Copyright: Daily Express, 12-07-1985)