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All the New Major Changes to FA Cup Format Listed Fully

by Thomaz Oseghale
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All the New Major Changes to FA Cup Format Listed Fully

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Starting from the 2024-25 season, the FA Cup will undergo significant alterations, with replays being scrapped from the first round onwards. This landmark decision is part of a broader six-year agreement between the Football Association (FA) and the Premier League, aimed at streamlining the competition and adapting to the increasingly congested football calendar.

Weekend Matches and Schedule Adjustments

In a notable departure from tradition, all rounds of the Emirates FA Cup will now take place on weekends, including the fifth round, which has previously been held midweek. The FA Cup final itself has been rescheduled to the penultimate weekend of the Premier League season, ensuring it does not clash with league fixtures and allowing for a clear run-up to the climax of the English football year.

Rationale Behind the Changes

The decision to eliminate replays from an earlier stage in the competition aligns with adjustments necessitated by expanded UEFA competitions. Replays were traditionally used to settle draws, but with the increased demands on teams’ schedules, they have been deemed unsustainable from the first round onwards, where professional teams from League One and League Two typically enter the competition.

Enhanced Focus and Additional Funding

The restructuring of the FA Cup aims to give the competition more prominence within the domestic schedule. By avoiding overlap with Premier League fixtures, particularly in the critical fourth and fifth rounds and the quarter-finals, the tournament can enjoy a distinct spotlight.

Additionally, this new agreement includes a substantial increase in Premier League funding for grassroots football, with an additional £33m earmarked for the lower tiers of the game, including disability football and women’s and girls’ football. FA Chief Executive Mark Bullingham emphasized the broader impact of this initiative, stating, “The FA Cup is our biggest asset.

This new agreement strengthens the FA Cup and gives this very special tournament exclusive weekends in an increasingly busy calendar. We have also agreed on new funding for the grassroots game, disability football, and the women’s and girls’ game. All football begins at the grassroots, and this is recognized by the Premier League with very welcome additional financial support.”

These comprehensive changes are set to reshape the experience of the FA Cup for teams, players, and fans alike, reflecting a modern approach to managing the demands of the football schedule.

This article was updated 1 month ago


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