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The F.A. seemingly no longer up for the Cup Replays

It’s been reported that The Football Association and their counterparts at The Football League have been in discussions regarding a scaling down of their Cup competitions to ease fixture congestion for Premier League clubs.

The suggestions are that the F.A. Cup would move to a Midweek tournament after the 3rd Round and more importantly Replays would also be scrapped, while the Capital One Cup would it’s Semi Finals contested over only one leg.

The move would no doubt help clubs who are competing on a European front also especially from the 5th Round but although the move could be a massive boost to those sides what about the clubs in the lower rungs of the Football League and the impact removing replays could have,

Take Exeter City’s draw with Liverpool earlier in the season. That replay at Anfield will have given them crucial funds which will allow to keep the club afloat for at least a season or two more. That’s an absolutely vital lifeline for clubs at the level.

One way to remedy that is to make sure that the lower club always gets the home tie up to say the Quarter Finals but then what happens if it’s an all Premier League tie, does the tie change for example. To be honest that seems a cumbersome idea and hard to implement.

If changes were to come in then they wouldn’t be until 2018 when the current Cup TV deal comes to a close but will the majority of clubs feel a change in necessary. In helping the few will they be hindering the masses?

One club who would certainly prefer a change is Manchester City, they aren’t happy with the fact that the F.A. have scheduled their 5th Round tie with Chelsea just 72 hours before their all important Champions League tie with Dynamo Kiev.

The complaint that City made will no doubt fall on deaf ears as the F.A. have their TV partners to appease but it’s Manuel Pellegrini who has had to draw the short straw with his preparations hampered by this fixture, do not be surprised if City have a weakened team at the Weekend.

The reason that Premier League sides will want to be helped out is due to their fears about the falling Uefa Co-efficient. Too many games in too many competitions could scupper their progress in Europe which in turn could lead to the dreaded loss of a Champions League slot to Italy in the coming seasons.

It just highlights the dwindling role that The F.A. Cup now has in English Football, it will always have it’s folklore but when the money on offer in European competition dwarfs what on offer from the domestic showpiece then you can understand why it’s not top priority

This is by no means a done deal but the F.A. are going to have to tread very carefully, they have quite the balancing act on their hands. It will be interesting to see how much power the upper echelons of the Premier League after all is said and done and the repercussions it could have at the lower levels


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