HomeFootball NewsEFL to seek compensation after FA Cup replays scrapped

EFL to seek compensation after FA Cup replays scrapped

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The EFL will seek compensation for its clubs following this morning’s announcement from the FA and Premier League that they are to scrap FA Cup replays from next season.

The move is designed to free up space in the calendar due to expanded European competitions but has left owners of clubs further down the pyramid furious as it could lead to the cutting off of a valuable revenue stream.

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Traditionalists have also voiced their displeasure at a shift away from one of the nuances that made the FA Cup unique.

EFL chief executive Trevor Birch said the league was not involved in discussions around the changes, even though it represents the overwhelming majority of the clubs that will be affected.

He said: “Whilst the league had previously been involved in discussions over the future of the calendar, these were predicated on the agreement of a new financial deal with the Premier League for EFL clubs which has not progressed.

“This is frustrating and disappointing given the calendar is a shared asset across football, and as we have consistently said a whole game approach is required to find solutions to complex fixture scheduling challenges.

“Our domestic calendar has been put under extreme pressure by the expansion of UEFA competitions and ultimately this represents another lost traditional revenue stream for EFL clubs at a time when the financial gap between the biggest clubs and those further down the pyramid is growing bigger than ever.

“We will now be discussing the implications for EFL clubs and seeking appropriate compensation arrangements.”

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.”

Nicola Palios, vice chair of League Two club Tranmere, was also unimpressed.

She wrote on X: “729 teams compete in the FA Cup. Why is its format being dictated by the Premier League, who represent c.3% of them? Why were EFL clubs not given a say? 

“Why is the EPL even dictating whether replays are allowed in rounds they don’t participate in? Protest is needed!”

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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