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Controversial FA Cup decision causes backlash from non league community

A controversial FA Cup decision causes backlash from clubs and fans within the non league community, according to reports this week.

The Football Association have notified it’s member clubs when the draws for the Extra Preliminary and Preliminary Rounds of the 2021/22 FA Cup will be announced.

The release date will also include the opening rounds of the Buildbase FA Trophy, Buildbase FA Vase and FA Youth Cup.

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Friday 9th July will be the date for the diary and will include the following:

– The Emirates FA Cup – Extra Preliminary Round & Preliminary Round
– The Buildbase FA Trophy – First Round Qualifying & Second Round Qualifying
– The Buildbase FA Vase – First Round Qualifying & Second Round Qualifying
– The FA Youth Cup – Preliminary Round and First Round Qualifying

Now that isn’t what fans are left disappointed over but instead, the FA also revealed that only eight Step 6 clubs would be admitted to the FA Cup next season due to it being oversubscribed.

In a change from normal, due to the National League System restructure, 21 clubs at Step 4 will be placed in the Extra Preliminary Round with the remaining teams exempt until the Preliminary Round.

A draw will select 8 leagues, each of which will provide the highest ranked club that was not selected for upward movement.

Step 6 (10th tier of English football) includes clubs from the following leagues…

Combined Counties League Division One
Eastern Counties League Division One North
Eastern Counties League Division One South
Hellenic League Division One
Midland League Division One
North West Counties League Division One North
North West Counties League Division One South
Northern Counties East League Division One
Northern League Division Two
South West Peninsula League Premier Division East
South West Peninsula League Premier Division West
Southern Combination League Division One
Southern Counties East League Division One
Spartan South Midlands League Division One
United Counties League Division One
Wessex League Division One
Western League Division One

Ollie Bayliss adds: “My understanding is: All clubs at Step 5 and above who have applied are in the Cup.

“The FA will draw out eight Step 6 divisions – each of those will provide one club for. That will be the highest ranked side in that division based on PPG from the 19/20 & 20/21 season’s records.”

The controversial FA Cup decision causes backlash from the non league community with others confused, see what everyone had to say on it below…

@Progman68: Competition long overdue a restructure. The French cup has over 8,500 entrants!

@Boy94Tommy: Would all the Step 3 clubs be in the 1st Qualifying Round or will any be going into the Preliminary Round?

@LOMMERS01: Farcical so much for #FA helping lower clubs in the pyramid

@eshanknickyb: Why not do a extra qualifying round so the step 6 clubs all make some Extra cash instead of the big boys

@CroftantiquesUK: The FA once again taking away a possible financial stream from Step 6 clubs. Instead of supporting the lower levels yet again they are working to destroy. They really are so out of touch at the top and through the ranks down to County FA’s

@NonLeagueMaps: If they changed 1 or 2 exemptions they could include all Step 6 teams. They may have to reduce prize money due to the additional 300+ teams though.

@PurpleTram: So I guess we’re concentrating on the league again! @Croydon_FC

@Tramboy1958: So that’s a big “fuck you” to virtually all of Step 6. But then we can’t be grassroots can we, as we have to mimic the infrastructure of fully professional clubs.

@TootingBecFC: So if we are moved to the @SCEFLeague and they are drawn we miss out to @Rochesterutdfc. If we stay in the @ComCoFL and they are drawn we will be in the FA Cup. The @FA may as well just have my first born, it would make more sense. Anyone fancy a Surrey Super League?

@StatEmeritus: Perfect FA Cup structure.
August – Prelim Round – To even numbers up.
September – Qualifying Rd – Last 512
October – Last 256
November – Last 128
December – Current 3rd Round – Last 64
January -Last 32
February – Last 16
March – Last 8
April – Semi Finals
May – Final

@NonLeagueMaps: I would have given the 8 places to the next 8 eligible teams, that would have been the next 8 4th place teams by PPG after Fekenham but excluding the SWP. Not sure if you’d have been in but that would have been 8 out of the 17 eligible 4th place teams.

@TootingBecFC: Agreed, a simple and fair way to do it.

@NonLeagueMaps: Either that or a draw out of the teams would have seemed fair.
Rochester U
Hereford Pegasus
Carlisle C
Andover N.Street
Radstock T
Dudley T
Aylestone Park
Mile Oak
Tooting Bec
May & Baker Eastbrook
Abingdon United
West Didsbury & Chorlton
Golcar U

@NonLeagueMaps: The Eastern Counties North for instance shouldn’t get a place as they promoted an additional team so they’ve already had their ‘4 additional places’

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