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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Feb 21, 2008

FA board meet to discuss 39th step proposal

The Premier League's plans for overseas matches will be top of the agenda when the Football Association board meet today.

The board will be given details of the proposal for each top-flight club to play a 39th match in a foreign city.

Premier League chairman Sir Dave Richards is due to present the plans but it is expected that Manchester United chief executive David Gill will outline his club's opposition.

The FA's new independent chairman Lord Triesman has made it clear that there are four major hurdles for the league to overcome.

The best they can hope for today is to be given more time to develop their proposals, and it is thought that Football League chairman Lord Mawhinney will argue the case for that course of action.

Triesman has insisted if the objections are not dealt with, the league will have to drop the idea.

The points he outlined are ensuring: there is no damage to England's 2018 World Cup bid or relations with FIFA and UEFA; no adverse impact on fixture congestion or the fortunes of the national team; that fans are not opposed to the move; that the format of the competition is fair.

Triesman said: 'So far, we have not had sustainable answers to that.'

Gill is expected to tell the FA board he agrees with Triesman. He may also say that those in charge of Liverpool hold the same view.

Scudamore hopes to fly to Zurich next week to persuade FIFA president Sepp Blatter of the benefits of the plan ahead of the March 14 FIFA executive committee which will look at the proposal.

He conceded on Tuesday for the first time that the idea will be dropped if it does not get the all-clear from FIFA and the FA.

Blatter has already reacted with clear hostility to the concept.