FA confident Reds will win Euro fight

HOLDERS Liverpool are expected to win the battle to defend their Champions League title next season within the next 48 hours.

That was the prediction from David Davies, the executive director of the FA, when he met a delegation of five Liverpool MPs yesterday.

“We are encouraged by the fact there has been a change of feeling within UEFA,” Davies said.

“As opposed to a few weeks ago when there seemed to be a majority against changing the rules, there is a majority seeking to find a way to get Liverpool in. I think that will become clearer in the next 48 hours.

“We have made progress and I hope we are winning the debate,” Davies told the MPs, who presented 3,000 messages of support for Liverpool’s crusade - collected by the Liverpool Echo newspaper - at the FA’s Soho Square headquarters in London.

Davies pledged that he would study the views put forward by the Liverpool fans as a matter of urgency.

“It’s enormously helpful to have any new thoughts. If there is anything in there which we have not thought of - we will look at it.

“Even amongst other clubs we aren’t aware of anyone in this country within the football family who doesn’t believe that Liverpool should be in,” said Davies.

Peter Kilfoyle, Labour MP for Walton whose constituency is home to both Liverpool and Everton, said: “I’m very heartened by the efforts that are being made by the FA.

“Obviously we all want to see both clubs from Liverpool in there on the basis of Everton getting fourth place in the Premiership and Liverpool winning the Champions League.

“I think these were unforeseen circumstances and the FA have assured us they are doing everything possible.”

Mr Kilfoyle - an Everton supporter - has been particularly heartened by the support of UEFA president Lennart Johansson.

“I think Mr Johansson’s comment in the press indicates he has tried to persuade the UEFA executive committee along these lines and I’m very hopeful that we will get a solution.”

Davies said there was never an option of Liverpool replacing Everton as England’s fourth representative, as happened in Spain in 2000 when Real Madrid took Real Zaragoza’s place.

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