Tranmere Rovers condemns changes to FA Cup

FA Cup replays will be scrapped from the first round onward from the 2024-25 season.

Additionally, all rounds of the FA Cup, including the fifth round, previously held during midweek for five seasons, will now occur exclusively on weekends.

These adjustments form part of a fresh six-year pact between the Football Association (FA) and the Premier League.

EFL chief executive Trevor Birch told the BBC that the decision to scrap replays from the first round is “frustrating and disappointing” and that the EFL will be “seeking appropriate compensation arrangements”, adding, “This represents another lost traditional revenue stream for EFL clubs at a time when the financial gap between the biggest clubs and those further down the pyramid is growing bigger than ever.”

Tranmere Rovers has condemned the “disgraceful decision taken by The FA and the Premier League” to change the format of the FA Cup, including the scrapping of replays.

In a statement, the club said, “There was no consultation with Football League clubs, National League clubs or grassroots clubs to whom the competition represents not only their best opportunity to create life-long memories for supporters but also a hugely important source of income.

“We also understand that FA Council members were not consulted about the changes.

“The decision, and the way it was taken, demonstrate a total lack of respect for the football pyramid and its fans. Football belongs to all of us and decisions should not be taken in back room deals in which only the very wealthiest clubs are allowed to participate.

“It is yet another eloquent example of the 19th-century governance that means that football simply cannot regulate itself and needs the Independent Football Regulator to have real teeth.

“We condemn the changes wholeheartedly and urge The FA to suspend them immediately until all stakeholders in the game are properly consulted.”

Vice Chair of Tranmere Rovers, Nicola Palios, said in a post on X, also known as Twitter, that, “729 teams compete in the FA Cup. Why is its format being dictated by the Premier League who represent c.3% of them? Why were EFL clubs not given a say? Why is the EPL even dictating whether replays are allowed in rounds they don’t participate in? Protest is needed!”

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