Starting from next season, replays in the FA Cup will no longer be part of the tournament, impacting smaller clubs

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Manchester City

Replays in the FA Cup, which have long been a crucial source of income for smaller soccer teams in England, will no longer be part of the tournament starting next season.

The Football Association, which organizes the FA Cup, made this decision after discussions with the Premier League, citing the need to accommodate the expanded UEFA competitions.

For smaller clubs, earning money from an extra game, especially against a top Premier League team, can make a big difference, sometimes bringing in as much as £1 million ($1.25 million).

Recently, replays were removed from the last 16 onward in the FA Cup. Now, they won’t happen from the first round, either. This move has faced criticism from the English Football League (EFL), which oversees the three divisions below the Premier League.

EFL chief executive Trevor Birch expressed concerns about this change, saying it’s another loss of income for EFL clubs. He mentioned that the financial gap between big clubs and smaller ones is growing.

The EFL plans to discuss compensation for the loss of replays. The soccer calendar in England is already quite packed, and it will become even tighter next season with more games in the expanded Champions League and additional midweeks for European matches.

Additionally, England still has another cup competition called the League Cup.

FA Cup

Premier League manager Chris Wilder, who has coached in lower leagues, believes keeping replays would have been better. He feels that the decision is influenced by big clubs and worries about the impact on non-league teams that rely on the financial boost from FA Cup replays.

The change is part of a deal between the FA and the Premier League, aiming to boost grassroots soccer with an extra £33 million ($41 million) from the top league each year.

More money will go to a stadium fund, helping lower-league clubs improve their facilities. Under the deal, certain rounds of the FA Cup, the world’s oldest knockout tournament, will not clash with Premier League matches for the first time.

The FA Cup final will now happen a week before the end of the Premier League season, instead of after it.

FA chief executive Mark Bullingham said the new schedule would protect and improve the magic of the cup while benefiting English soccer as a whole.

Premier League chief executive Richard Masters emphasized their commitment to improving the FA Cup’s schedule, acknowledging its importance in English soccer history.


By Ritik

Ritik Katiyar is pursuing a post-graduate degree in Pharmaceutics. Currently, he lives in Srinagar, Uttarakhand, India. You can find him writing about all sorts of listicle topics. A pharmaceutical postgrad by day, and a content writer by night. You can write to him at [email protected]

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