Premier League: Exclusion of FA Cup replays on agenda for ‘New Deal for Football’ meeting

FA Cup winners Liverpool played 63 games in all competitions last season, having also reached the semi-finals of the EFL Cup and Champions League.

Premier League clubs will discuss the permanent abolition of FA Cup replays at a meeting on Wednesday.

There will also be talks about the big changes to the EFL Cup as part of the ‘New Deal For Football’ talks.

Neither cup is run by the Premier League, so it should approach the FA and EFL about possible changes.

Clubs are concerned about the increased strain on their already busy schedule that the expansion of the Uefa Champions League from 2024 onwards will create.

FA Cup replays were canceled for the 2020-21 season to help with match delays caused by Covid-19.

They were also rejected for the third and fourth rounds last season.

Neither the FA nor the EFL have given a formal response to the change in their flagship competitions and it is understood that discussions between them and the Premier League are yet to materialise.

The Champions League in 2024 will become a 36-team competition from the current 32, and three European competitions will have a knockout round to reach the last 16.

Uefa has yet to decide on the actual dates it wants for the additional matches.

However, with the Premier League remaining at 20 clubs, a place can only be found by using the half-weeks currently reserved for EFL Cup or FA Cup third and fourth round replays.

With many managers believing there are already too many games for elite clubs, two scenarios involving the FA Cup and the EFL Cup are being discussed by the Premier League as part of a general overhaul of the game, which will include tighter financial controls. at the highest level, in line with Uefa regulations, they expect the EFL to take over.

The measures would also see greater financial support for EFL clubs, replacing the current parachute payments, which are understood to give a significant financial advantage to clubs who receive them.

It is understood that even England’s biggest clubs are committed to retaining the EFL Cup as they recognize its commercial value.

However, realistically if it were to remain a 92-club competition, those taking part in Europe would either play in a dramatically reduced squad or be selected only from the under-21s, who would have to play two midweek matches at certain times.

The strain on the schedule can be seen in the problems involved in rescheduling the 13 Premier League games postponed following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

It is understood that the fixtures between September 10-12 are to be arranged as a 10-match block and there are no plans to change the format of this season’s EFL Cup or FA Cup.

However, the three half-weeks in April and May where the full round of matches could have gone were created for Premier League games that were postponed due to clashes with the EFL Cup final or FA Cup sixth round and semi-finals, meaning they would be new dates. have been found for them.