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FA Cup third and fourth-round replays to be scrapped to reduce fixture congestion

According to the latest football news, FA Cup third and fourth-round replays could be scrapped as part of reforms to the English football calendar.

According to BBC, the Football Association has decided to scrape the FA Cup third and fourth-round replays. The FA are under pressure to make these changes due to the expansion of European competitions.

Moreover, the number of teams in both the Champions League and the Europa League will expand from 32 to 36, with each side playing a minimum of 10 games. So, the domestic calendar will feel pressure from next season onwards.

Nevertheless, the move will negatively impact smaller clubs as they generally look to host replays to generate revenue. Furthermore, the reports also suggest that Carabao Cup two-legged semi-finals will also be scrapped in favour of one single match.

English football calendar expected to be revamped due to fixture congestion

The FA are yet to announce this officially, but it is believed that the decision has already been made. Furthermore, the changes could be implemented in 2025, ahead of a new TV deal.

The fifth round of the FA Cup is set to be played on the weekend again. Since 2019, all fifth-round fixtures have taken place during midweek, leading to criticism from fans. The FA’s changes will be welcomed by many Premier League managers, including Klopp.

Klopp said: “The lifelines for small clubs cannot be massive problems for clubs who play every three days. We cannot solve all the problems by playing more games. How often did it happen that a smaller club came through because of this extra game?

“I know there is money involved and that’s how it is but you have to find solutions. Nobody wants to kill the smaller clubs; they have exactly the same right for existence as all of us.”

Round One of the FA Cup kicks off on November 4. Premier League clubs will only get involved in Round Three, which will be held on the first weekend of 2024.

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