EFL: Decision to scrap FA Cup replays 'agreed solely between the Premier League and FA'

EFL: Decision to scrap FA Cup replays 'agreed solely between the Premier League and FA'

The EFL claims the decision to alter the FA Cup format and remove replays from next season was “agreed solely between the Premier League and Football Association.”

On Thursday it was announced that an agreement had been reached to change the format.

As of the 2024/25, replays would be scrapped, all rounds would be played on the weekend and the final would be moved to the penultimate Saturday of the Premier League season. The changes were met with widespread criticism.

The FA released a statement on Friday in response, saying they had discussed the potential changes with the Premier League and EFL over a year ago, and “all parties accepted that they [replays] could not continue.”

In a statement later in the day, the EFL disputed that they signed off on the changes and claimed this was another example of their clubs “being marginalised in favour of others further up the pyramid.”

The FA cited an increasingly congested fixture calendar as the reason for the controversial change, brought on by an expanded Champions League format and the new FIFA Club World Cup. As part of the changes, the Premier League promised increased funding to the lower leagues.

The FA said the new calendar was approved by the Professional Game Board (PGB), which features four EFL representatives, and the FA Board, which includes EFL and grassroots representation.

The EFL’s statement disagreed with several key points. Firstly that the PGB has the authority to make key policy decisions on behalf of the EFL. Secondly, they also pointed out that the matter had not been discussed by the FA Cup committee, a group that oversees the competition.

Replays are often vital sources of revenue for lower league clubs, and the FA’s decision was not received well by clubs further down the pyramid. Several EFL clubs have condemned the decision, with Coventry manager Mark Robins calling it “a kick in the teeth.”

The EFL have asked for more involvement in decision-making in the future.