The FA just can’t help tinkering with the FA Cup. With the final no longer at 3pm on a Saturday, glitzy pre-match routines with guess stars and national anthem singers that don’t sing, the FA can find other things to tinker with as well.
With the Premiership still leading the FA by it’s ears, it’s been decided to stop replays at the quarter-final stages, despite there having been very few of them in recent years, but the EPL remain concerned that their overpaid stars are having to play too often. The worry is that replays will at some point in the future be scrapped by the FA in earlier rounds leading to loss of revenue for lower league and non-league clubs.
FA chief executive Martin Glenn said:-
With great attendances and TV figures across the BBC and BT Sport, this season has confirmed the Cup’s special status – underlined by great stories culminating in Manchester United’s triumph at Wembley last Saturday.
In a demanding calendar and with increased pressures on fans, it is important we move with the times and consider new innovations such as last week’s successful Non-League Finals Day which saw 50,000 fans at Wembley for the Vase and Trophy.
While fully respecting tradition and history, this new development will help the Cup retain its status as a much-loved and world-renowned competition.
The dates for the early rounds of the FA Cup have been confirmed, with some concerns being expressed by non league clubs that they will be starting the season with a cup tie. The dates are:-
- Saturday 6th August FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round
- Saturday 20th August FA Cup Preliminary Round
- Saturday 3rd September FA Cup 1st Qualifying Round