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FA chief wants Champions League qualification for FA Cup winners

FA chief executive Martin Glenn has suggested that FA Cup success could be rewarded with Champions League qualification in the future and said he would like to see a winter break in England.

English clubs can currently qualify for the Champions League either by finishing in the top four in the Premier League or by winning the Europa League.

Glenn, though, has said he is interested in exploring the idea of allowing the FA Cup winners to take the spot currently claimed by the side finishing fourth in the table.

"Yeah, I'd love to see that," he told reporters at a Kick It Out fundraising event. "It would add lustre to the competition. You can't solve things in isolation. It's a Rubik's Cube. That might be one possibility. Of course, running the FA, I'd love it.

"It just needs to be set up and weighed up against all the other criteria and the desires of the competition owners, the Premier League, the Football League, etc."

He warned that the issue could be complicated further were England to lose one of its qualification spots.

"I think it would be attractive but you've got job one [which] is make sure we've got enough coefficient points in Europe to make sure we keep the four places," Glenn said.

Martin Glenn would welcome a winter break in English football.

Glenn also said he would personally welcome the idea of a winter break in the Premier League.

Clubs in the English top flight have greater workloads than that of their counterparts in Germany, Italy, France, and Spain, and a mid-season break has long been touted both as a means of boosting the national side's hopes of success and reducing injuries

"It's not FA policy but I would love there to be a winter break," Glenn said. "I think it'd be good for the England team, I think it'd probably be good for the clubs."

He added: "If you wanted a winter break, things would have to change, but it doesn't automatically mean that the Premier League would have to come down to 18 clubs either.

"I think there are other ways of fixing it but it just needs a holistic look at the entire calendar. It needs challenging probably UEFA about windows, so we need a negotiating strategy for that."

Glenn wants to challenge UEFA regulations that prevent domestic fixtures being played at the same time as Champions League or Europa League matches.

UEFA withheld £1.1 million in solidarity payments to the FA in 2013 after fixture clashes in the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons.

Given the concerns over fixture pile-ups, Glenn feels that European football's governing body should change its rules.

"The Premier League, Football League and ourselves have just completed our four-year plans and we all agree,' he said. "At the moment, we bump along from crisis to crisis. The FA Cup hasn't changed, the leagues haven't changed, the League Cup hasn't changed.

"What's changed has been further demands from UEFA about blocking out TV time or fixture scheduling. UEFA have added a lot of complexity, so what was always quite tight and difficult has become tougher.

"It does require a strategic answer, rather than saying, 'What can we horse trade?' What do we actually want our season to look like?"


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