FA Cup replays to be scrapped from 2024-25 season

April 19, 2024 6:06 am

[Source: Reuters]

FA Cup replays will be scrapped from the first round next season as part of a six-year agreement with the Premier League to strengthen the domestic competition, the Football Association (FA) announced on Thursday.

The FA added that all FA Cup rounds will be played on weekends from next term, with the fourth and fifth rounds, plus quarter-finals, to be held exclusive of Premier League matches.

The mid-season break was also removed from the calendar, in order to allow the Premier League to start in mid-August and provide a longer close-season break.

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The gradual removal of replays from the later FA Cup rounds was criticised, with some commentators saying it is another erosion of the importance of the world’s oldest domestic club competition.

In the past, smaller clubs drawn at home to top-tier opposition in the FA Cup have enjoyed financial windfalls from securing replays.

Mark Bullingham, CEO of England’s FA, said the new agreement between the FA and the Premier League strengthened the FA Cup and gave “this very special tournament exclusive weekends in an increasingly busy calendar.”

As part of the agreement, the Premier League will increase the funding it provides to the English football pyramid, giving an additional 33 million pounds ($41.15 million) towards developing the grassroots game.

The Premier League already provides 100 million pounds in funding to teams in lower leagues.

This season’s FA Cup semi-finals will take place on the weekend, with holders Manchester City facing Chelsea on Saturday and Coventry City taking on Manchester United on Sunday.