FA Cup replays ‘might be scrapped completely in 2020-21 in attempt to ease packed fixture list… despite fears it will hurt clubs financially’
- The Premier League and EFL are planning to start next season in mid-September
- That means a packed fixture list with teams playing two games in most weeks
- Football chiefs are considering scrapping FA Cup replays to ease the burden
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FA Cup replays could be cancelled next season, according to reports.
It is expected that there will be a packed fixture list next season after the current campaign was delayed by the coronavirus pause – leading to a shortened 2020-21 season.
As a result, the game’s governing bodies are looking at how they can ease the demands on players.
FA Cup replays could be cancelled next season as chiefs look to deal with likely fixture chaos
The Sun are reporting that an option on the table would see all replays scrapped – even though it is likely to hurt some teams financially.
It is likely to be met with approval by most clubs. Teams face playing two games every week for the vast majority of next season.
Both the Premier League and the EFL are eyeing a mid-September start date for the season, according to the report, causing more games to be fit into a shorter spell.
There is a precedent, with the FA Cup scrapping replays from the fifth round onwards this season.
That saw Norwich beat Spurs on penalties while Sheffield Wednesday overcame Reading 2-1 in extra-time rather than facing a replay.
Norwich benefitted from a lack of replays when they beat Spurs in the FA Cup in March
While clubs like replays for extra income, the FA are eyeing settling every game on the day.
That would extend to the qualifying stages – of which there are six – including the extra preliminary round.
Non-league football is set to return in September, which means there is a challenge to fit those games in too along with the FA Trophy and FA Vase.
The Football League are also trying to find a slot for the EFL Trophy and Carabao Cup – with the latter potentially being cancelled.
The Carabao Cup could also be scrapped as football prepares for a late start to next season