HomeFA CupFA Cup replays to be scrapped in controversial new agreement with Premier...

FA Cup replays to be scrapped in controversial new agreement with Premier League

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FA Cup replays have been scrapped from the first round onwards next season after the FA and Premier League agreed on controversial new plans.

One of the competition’s great traditions – and a feature that makes it unique – will be no longer in a move designed to assist Premier League clubs playing in expanded European competitions.

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The six-year deal also comes as a major blow to lower league clubs who rely on matchday and television income generated from replays to supplement revenue.

To try to soften the blow, the Premier League have said they will provide an additional £33million per season to the football pyramid starting from the 2025-26 campaign.

Other features of the agreement mean all rounds will be played on weekends – the fifth round has been played during the week for the last five seasons – while there will be no Premier League games scheduled for the day of the final.

Premier League chief executive Richard Masters said: “The Premier League is proud of the investment it provides to all levels of the game and this new agreement with the FA will see us enhance our support into grassroots football. This will improve facilities for communities and lower league clubs across the country, through the Football Foundation and Premier League Stadium Fund.

“Throughout our discussions, both parties have been committed to enhancing the scheduling of the Emirates FA Cup, a hugely important domestic competition with a storied history.

“The FA and the Premier League have worked in partnership to deliver more exclusive weekends without compromising the excitement of knockout football and this has been achieved at the same time as allowing us to ease fixture congestion generally.”

Masters’ enthusiasm was not shared by Andy Holt, the chairman of League Two side Accrington Stanley.

Holt wrote on X: “Why would the hapless FA scrap early round replays that can be lucrative to minnows? A chance to change their financial fortunes? Against EFL clubs?

“I expect nothing less of Masters and Co at the Premier League, buying the game into a format that suits their needs.

“As usual.”

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.

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