No replays but FA Cup exclusive weekends, plus an extra £33million

FA Cup at the Select Car Leasing Stadium on Saturday. Photo: Neil Graham.
FA Cup at the Select Car Leasing Stadium on Saturday. Photo: Neil Graham.

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The Football Association (FA) and Premier League have announced a joint set of measures to strengthen the FA Cup format over the next six seasons – starting in 2024/25.

The bad news first, there will no longer be replays from the FA Cup First Round Proper onwards, something that previously only happened from the Fifth Round but, in the FA words is ‘in light of changes to the calendar driven by the expanded UEFA competitions.’

Had that change existed this season, Slough Town could well have bettered League Two Grimsby Town in a penalty shootout at a sold-out Arbour Park.

The good news is there will now be exclusive weekends of FA Cup football between the Fourth Round and Quarter Finals – no Premier League games, while the Final will be played on the penultimate weekend of the season with no Premier League football on Friday night or Saturday.

None of that affects much of the grassroots game. The Extra Preliminary Round to the Fourth Qualifying Round will still have replays and there appears to be no mention in the announcement of a prize fund increase.

Related: How to qualify for the FA Cup

However, both the FA and Premier League confirmed an additional £33 million of Premier League money will be made available to the football pyramid and grassroots football.

The statement said: “This commitment will see increased investment to both the Football Foundation and Premier League Stadium Fund to develop facilities at lower league clubs, improving the playing and spectator experience, as well as clubs’ financial sustainability. The funding will also create more opportunities for people with a disability to play football, and support the ongoing development of the girls’ game.

“It will also enable the leagues in the men’s and women’s football pyramid to continue to develop, in line with the FA’s new National League System Strategy.”

How to access the FA and Premier League’s new funding:

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Saturday 18th May 2024

Sandhurst Town Boys & Girls Royals14:00KS Gryf
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