Wednesday , May 29 2024

The EFL reacts to changes in FA Cup format!

The EFL wishes to clarify further its position in respect of yesterday’s Premier League and Football Association bi-lateral announcement over the removal of FA Cup replays and the role of the League’s representatives on the Professional Game Board (PGB).

The agreement which now sees the abolition of replays from the competition format was agreed solely between the Premier League and FA. Ahead of the deal being announced there was no agreement with the EFL nor was there any formal consultation with EFL Clubs as members of the FA and participants in the competition.

In September 2023, the EFL did initially discuss with Clubs potential changes to the FA Cup format but only as part of a wider and more fundamental change to financial distributions. As is now clear, there has been no movement in this area since September.

This latest agreement between the Premier League and the FA, in the absence of financial reform, is just a further example of how the EFL and its Clubs are being marginalised in favour of others further up the pyramid and that only serves to threaten the future of the English game.

The EFL today calls on both the Premier League and the FA, as the Governing body, to re-evaluate their approach to their footballing partnership with the EFL and engage more collaboratively on issues directly affecting our Clubs.

A separate issue is the role of the EFL representatives on the Professional Game Board (PGB) in agreeing to the 2024/25 overall fixture calendar. PGB is there to make technical decisions across the game as opposed to key policy decisions such as competition changes or formats.

Any decisions taken on the calendar involving EFL representatives are in no way an endorsement of the joint deal agreed between the FA and Premier League that imposes changes to the FA Cup competition format in isolation.

As part of the discussions the EFL representatives did challenge the position and were told that Clubs would be comfortable with no replays. They were effectively advised that, as a result, of it being an FA competition, the fixture list needed to be agreed as presented. It is also important to note that this matter was not discussed by the FA Cup committee, a separate group that oversees the competition across the professional and national game.

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