FA Cup Replays Scrapped & EPL Format Changed
A photograph of The FA Cup in HD. — Photo

The Football Association has announced sweeping changes to the FA Cup format including scrapping replays along with rounds exclusive of Premier League fixtures.

The FA statement on Thursday said the new agreement had been reached with the Premier League “which will strengthen the Emirates FA Cup format with new and exclusive calendar windows”.

Among those changes are extending the removal of replays for all ties from the first round proper to the final. Currently all ties from the fifth round onwards are played without replays.

It will also impact the Premier League structure, removing the mid-season break to enable a mid-August start date to the season.

The changes, which have been driven by the expanded UEFA competitions and subsequent intense schedule for clubs, has led to exclusive Premier League free weekends for the FA Cup in the fourth, fifth rounds and quarter-finals. The fifth round was previously played in midweek too.

As part of the agreement, which is for a minimum of six years, there will be additional funding from the Premier League to the FA.

“The Emirates FA Cup is our biggest asset and generates over 60 per cent of our revenue to invest into the game, so it is critical to secure a strong format for the future,” FA chief executive Mark Bullingham.

“This new agreement between the FA and the Premier League strengthens the Emirates FA Cup and gives this very special tournament exclusive weekends in an increasingly busy calendar.

“The new schedule ensures the magic of the Cup is protected and enhanced, while working for the whole of the English game. The longer summer period also allows a much-needed player break before the start of the next season.

“We have also agreed new funding for the grassroots game, disability football and the womens and girls game. All football begins at the grassroots, and this is recognised by the Premier League with very welcome additional financial support.”

Ben somerford
Sports Pundit staff writer @bensomerford
Australian journalist who specialises on all sports, focusing on football, tennis, basketball and racing, having written for global publications including FourFourTwo, AAP, Inside Futbol and many more....

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