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Emile Heskey reignites controversial debate over big changes to the FA Cup

Emile Heskey reignites a controversial but long-running debate over big changes to the FA Cup, and the fans have woke up unhappy with it.

Replays have been scrapped for the 2020/21 season, something of which was heavily condensed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

It means we go back to the traditional domestic football calendar after the EFL confirmed on Tuesday the Carabao Cup semi-finals would also revert to being played over two legs.

The FA have already confirmed the FA Cup Fourth Round would take place on the weekend of February the 4th to the 7th, later than usual because of the extra international break being held between January the 24th and February the 1st.

European countries are not expected to be in action during that international window, and it seems the Premier League has earmarked that part of the calendar to give those players not called up for international duty outside of Europe a mid-season break.

That means there will be no repeat of the situation which occurred in February 2020, when Liverpool were obliged to play a fourth-round replay against League One outfit Shrewsbury Town during the break period, prompting the club to field a under 23 side.

The FA Cup as well as the Carabao Cup currently faces a longer-term threat from the plans to revamp Europe’s club competitions. Typical, change English football to suit the big six, because that’s worked well for them recently right?

The Football Association wrote to UEFA in March to express concern about the impact its plans would have on the domestic football calendar.

The proposals to expand the Champions League from 125 to 225 matches were approved by UEFA’s executive committee in April, but there have been suggestions that aspects of the format could be revisited as part of a wider look at formats prompted by the foundation and swift collapse of the European Super League.

Part of the proposal included provision for four extra rounds of Champions League matches to occupy ‘exclusive’ midweek slots.

The Premier League has also expressed for January to remain clear for domestic football only.

Or maybe, it would be better for the big six to quit either or both of the FA Cup and Carabao Cup so they are able to play out their European ties without complaining about fitness. Plus we already see a HUGE number of games played at non league level, with players who have part-time jobs as well, yet they don’t complain.

Anyway, as mentioned, Emile Heskey reignites a controversial debate over big changes to the FA Cup, wanting the replays scrapped. Meaning a blow in potential income for non league or lower league sides, again only to suit the big boys.

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He said on talkSPORT this week: “I would scrap them to be honest with you. I wouldn’t have them.

“Even when you looking at lower leagues, they play a hell of a lot of games, they play so many games, and we look at the Premier League and this is the thing, we only look at the Premier League and when you are playing outside the Premier League you’re playing on average 50 plus games a season.

“But then we look at the Premier League and they play 40 games and that’s out of order. Then you look at the lower ones, they don’t have the wages, physic and their slogging it, they haven’t got the squads! I wouldn’t have it anymore. I’d get it scrapped and be done with it.”

Fans reacted as Emile Heskey reignites the controversial debate over big changes to the FA Cup…

@HankTheeHank: The FA Cup needs to become a seeded competition. No replays. Prem/top Champ teams play lowest ranking, rest of champ play league 1. Lower ranking teams pick home or away, 90mins then pens!

@bluc21: You can’t seed the FA cup. The beauty of it is the draw. All the rest of the competitions are built for the big sides

@HankTheeHank: Just trying to think of ways to help the smaller clubs out pal. I agree with you but if things get bad again come winter, some clubs will fold. How’s about they seed the Carabao Cup and scrap the JPT? Something needs to change to help them. Plus reinvigorate our domestic cups.

@iminginisbottle: The money a replay generates can set a lower league club up for a couple of years though. Maybe increase revenue for lower league clubs for cup games?

@Hyper_SFC: I think if they get an away tie the home team must give 50% of ticket revenue

@IrvingPaul09: am ole skool football fan pre EPL days when the FA cup was about the replays which stick out more than the other Cup competitions now Tv Broadcasters has taken over English football cant fit them in due to busy football schedules because their no free slots to play them 😎👊🏽

@ChadKTF28: Lower league clubs and their fans need the replays to generate funds. This is a players viewpoint and understand his opinion, however the cups and replays they provide are the only glory and memories clubs like #oafc have to look back on over the last 20 years

@wright010619: Its much more exciting in the league cup going straight to penalties plus probably would increase upsets

@LiamReece13: Emile please stop talking rubbish the Fa cup is a foundation for small clubs as well as big clubs,a replay for a small club financially can pay there players wages for the whole season!!! Think EMILE

@PaulRideout: Help the rich clubs out u mean? Lower league sides benefit from replays financially lets just look after the big boys who have 25 man squads coz they are tired

@richardhorne51: do not agree

@PaulProcaddy72: Help the bigger with fixture congestion. Champions league. Should be champions only & straight knock draw. No group games Like it used to be

@butts_1: Poor footballers playing a couple of games a week. 😫😫

@melvin_hall: He’s key on a pointless rant again trying to cause a debate. There isn’t one. The FA Cup structure needs leaving alone. Replays give much needed extra income the further you go down the leagues

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