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Anger at plans for FA Cup sponsor.

MOVES to rebrand the FA Cup as the Emirates FA Cup have been criticised for abandoning the tradition of the world's oldest knockout football competition.

Former sports minister and Football Foundation director Richard Caborn labelled the move as "commercialisation gone mad" while former FA Cup winner Lou Macari said changing the name "wouldn't sound right".

The Football Association insists no sponsorship deal has been finalised for the FA Cup but a proposal is expected to be discussed at a board meeting today.

The controversy surrounds renaming it as the Emirates FA Cup - previously it was referred to as the FA Cup with Budweiser.

The FA says all the money raisef is ploughed back into grassroots football, but Caborn says the governing body should protect the name of the FA Cup and go back to the drawing board.

Caborn said: "This is absolutely crazy. It's commercialisation gone mad. You have the greatest name in football that has so many memories for so many people and you are selling it off.

"It is the FA's greatest brand and they should protect it. For people like me, who walked down Wembley Way with grandad, the FA Cup is something very special.

"It is not like the Premier League - it's something different to people who love football, and to take that away would be mad.

"If it is about getting extra money for the grassroots, then I think the FA needs to go back to the drawing board and have another look at this."

An announcement will bring an end to a frustrating time for FA commercial chiefs who have seen the FA Cup run for an entire season without a main sponsor.

The competition has been without a main sponsor since the previous deal with Budweiser expired but according to reports a PS30millllion three-year deal with the airline Emirates has been agreed.

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Geographic Code:7UNIT
Date:Apr 30, 2015
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