There will be no FA Cup replays during the 2020-21 season to ease pressure on the already congested football calendar. The Competition will kick off on September 1st and finish with the final on May 15th at Wembley Stadium.
It has also been announced that the Carabao Cup semi-finals will now be over just one leg. The first round is scheduled for 5th September, with the next three rounds played on consecutive midweek dates.
Clubs will lose out with cup revenue
Because of the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic, FA Cup prize money has been halved. Most unwelcome news for the smaller clubs who desperately rely on revenue generated by an FA Cup run.
The winner of the tournament will now receive £1.8 million which is down from £3.6 million from last season. Not that this news will benefit the rare chance of a lower league side scooping the grand prize. Put simply this will not happen, so once again the big clubs pockets will still get richer.
This statement looks like another case of let’s look after the bigger clubs and not worry to much about the others. Understandably with a lot of games having to be squeezed into a small amount of time, something had to give.
Lower sides set to miss out once again
I certainly feel sorry for the smaller sides in the EFL and non-league teams who are going to lose out. Having no replays will mean they will certainly miss out on a lucrative amount of money. The amounts concerned could well keep some clubs afloat in these very troubled times we are all experiencing.
However, in this instance I really do feel this is the correct decision to do away with replays. If you asked virtually all of the Premiership clubs and most Championship ones, they would all want replays scrapped.
Some people would argue that this devalues the FA Cup. In reality the FA Cup is a competition that has been brushed aside by the top clubs. Something that merely gets in the way of the real business of surviving in the Premier League.
The FA Cup has been and always will be for the beauty of the underdogs. Everybody wants to see giant killings happen throughout the competition. From next season this chance may have been reduced but in a one off game it can still happen.