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FA CUP: United director to take part in pre-match ceremony

26 May 2017

FA Cup Committee chairman John Nixon to host VIP on behalf of FA

United’s Director of External Affairs John Nixon will carry out one of his final duties as chairman of the FA Cup committee this weekend when he forms part of the FA party which will introduce the visiting VIP to the Arsenal and Chelsea players ahead of the big kick off on Saturday evening.

Explaining more about his role at the showcase FA Cup final between the London giants, he said: “As chairman of the FA Cup committee one of the more special duties of the year is to go out onto the pitch for the final as part of the pre-match presentation ceremony.

“On Saturday a group of three representatives, including myself, will introduce the visiting VIP to the players and it caps off the year of chairing the committee in a really nice way. It’s a great honour for me on a personal level and it’s also good for the club that we’re being represented at this level of the game.”

“The FA Cup committee is always chaired by someone from the either the Premier League or the EFL, on a year-by-year rotation,” he explained. “It was the EFL’s turn to take up the position this season and it was an honour for me to be asked to become chairman of the committee, on their behalf, back in August.

“The role of the committee is to oversee and run the competition, all the way from the preliminary qualification rounds through to the final. We meet as an FA Cup body three or four times a year and we’re involved in resolving queries and disputes covering a wide range of issues.

“A lot of them arise during the early stages with, this season alone, issues cropping up with things like lighting failures, unregistered substitutes and kit clashes. There was even one case where a referee took charge of a game when, unknown to anyone else, he had previously played for one of the teams some 18 years earlier.

“It’s certainly an interesting role and it’s been an eye-opener to be involved in the nuts and bolts of what is a fantastic competition.”

Another interesting role thrown up as part of the duties of being a member of the FA Council is that of FA Ambassador, which requires attendance at England fixtures from under-16 to first team level at the request of the FA.

“I’m on the EFL Board as the League Two representative and I’ve also taken a position as an FA Councillor,” he explained. “I’m also on the FA Youth and the Sanctions & Registrations committees.

“This season I was invited to become an England Ambassador, which is part of a group of around 50 people who represent the FA on behalf of England as and when required. The group is made up of FA Councillors from the National game and from the professional game.

“You can be called upon once or twice a year to carry out those duties, and I was lucky enough to be asked to cover the Germany v England fixture in March, which was a fascinating experience. I’ve also been to games with the younger England age groups in Rhyll and Kidderminster, and it really has been an honour to be involved and to see how the operations work first hand.”

“As far as I’m concerned with all of the External Affairs work I’m involved in is that it gives the club a higher profile at EFL and FA level,” he commented. “We’re part of the decision making processes which affect the whole game, from youth through to senior level, and people connect my involvement directly with Carlisle United as a football club, which I really do think is important.

“As I’ve said before, it’s a privilege and an honour to represent the club on these boards and committees but I would have loved to have had to give it all up due to us winning promotion. I have to say, the nice way to cut the ties with all of this would be off the back of us being promoted to the next level.”


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