Home Sport Huge FA Cup changes announced with final no longer after final Premier...

Huge FA Cup changes announced with final no longer after final Premier League fixture

The Football Association (FA) has officially confirmed a radical overhaul to the FA Cup, which will see replays scrapped entirely from the first round proper starting next season.

Contrary to expectations that ties would be settled without replays from the third round beginning in the 2024/25 campaign, it has now been revealed that this change will take effect once qualifying rounds have concluded.

This removal of replays is among several measures agreed upon by the FA and Premier League to enhance the competition. The new format, set to last for at least six seasons, will also ensure all matches are played on weekends, except for the fourth round which will span from Friday to Wednesday.

The fourth, fifth and quarter-final stages will all occur during exclusive periods without Premier League football. It has also been confirmed that the FA Cup final will be held on the Saturday of the penultimate weekend of the Premier League, with no top-flight games scheduled on the same day.

These scheduling changes have also eliminated the mid-season break utilised in recent Premier League seasons, instead introducing a longer summer break following the European Championship in Germany.

The FA has announced a new agreement with the Premier League designed to reshape the Emirates FA Cup and provide a long-term funding boost to the grassroots game.

As part of the new agreement, FA Cup replays will be scrapped, with matches in the third round onward going straight to a penalty shootout if the game ends in a draw after extra time. This change will free up space in the calendar for additional Premier League and European matches.

In addition, the Premier League will increase its funding to the grassroots game by £33 million per season, taking the total investment to £133 million per year. This will help to support the development of players and coaches at all levels of the game.

FA chief executive Mark Bullingham said: “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.

“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.”

Premier League chief executive, Richard Masters, added: “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.”

The new agreement will come into effect from the start of the 2024-25 season. “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.”


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here