West Ham news: Pundit urges major rule change as David Moyes fumes over controversy
Noel Whelan has slammed Uefa for “bending the rules” to allow “big clubs” another route into the Champions League amid outrage from West Ham boss David Moyes.
The former Leeds striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, conceded giving FA Cup winners a Champions League place would bring the “sexiness” back to the competition.
According to The Telegraph (2 April), FA Cup winners could potentially qualify for the Champions League from 2024 under new rules being agreed by Uefa.
However, the place will be awarded only if they are one of the clubs in Europe with a historic record of success in Uefa competitions.
As quoted by the Daily Mail (4 April), Moyes insisted qualification should be given “on merit” – and branded the proposals “not inclusive”.
Whelan welcomed the change but insisted the rules must be “the same for every club”.
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“They’re just making these rules up as they go along, and bending them to get the big clubs involved,” he told Football Insider‘s Ewan Kingsbury.
“I don’t agree with it. It’s got to be earned on merit.
“But look, if it puts another English side in the Champions League then it’s a good thing – but it’s got to be the same for every club. Whether it’s Burnley or Liverpool.
“Winning the cup is not easy. And that’s the same for every club.
“Ultimately, that prize of Champions League football would make the FA Cup a bit more prestigious. It would bring the sexiness back to the competition, that’s for sure.”
Under current rules, lifting the FA Cup grants all clubs access to the Europa League group stage.
West Ham were knocked out of this season’s FA Cup in the fifth round.
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