Jeff Stelling divides fans as he calls for a completely new FA Cup format while speaking on his debut for talkSPORT radio station.
The much loved took up the role as presenter of the breakfast show and didn’t waste time in winning fans over with his opinions.
On Monday morning, after a busy weekend of FA Cup Second Round action, he explained why the Third Round draw should be seeded.
“What you really want is for the non-league sides to have their moment in the sun!” 🙏
— talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) December 4, 2023
Jeff Stelling said: “I’m not interested in Arsenal against Liverpool in the FA Cup. See it in the Premier League. Not interested at all.
“What worries me is some of the smaller teams who get through to this stage. You know, you look at Eastleigh Maidstone, the ones already particularly, they played five games to get to this stage and they’re looking for a bumper payday.
“And what happens? They get with all due respect, they get a rotten draw. The same thing happened to Eastleigh. They got a rotten draw as well.
“What they need to do no chance of TV coverage, by the way. No chance of a big payday for these teams. What they need to do, seed the third round draw in the FA Cup, for goodness sake. It is not too difficult.
“We’ve got 20 teams who qualify. They’ve come through rounds one and round two and all the qualifying rounds before that. 20 of them, okay? You pick them out of the bag, home or away, and then you put the rest of the teams from the Premier League and the Championship, all 44 of them, in there, and you pick out 20 of those teams, and they will play the lower league side. So every lower league team gets a bumper payday in the third round. They might get TV as well. And there’s 24 teams left over.
“So they’re all from the Premier League and the Championship. You can still get Arsenal against Liverpool, if that’s what you really want. But what you really want is for lower league sides, non league sides, to have their moment in the sun, to have their big payday. Because at the end of the day, the big clubs are only there because of the grassroots clubs.”
As mentioned, Jeff Stelling divides fans as he calls for a completely new FA Cup format…
@Kainey4: 100% agree. Lower league club owners would rather a guaranteed 45% of 30,000+ ticket sales and tv coverage!!! Although i think a lower league club that draws a Prem team should get 100% of ticket sales !!!
@BOHSvid: Surely just do German cup structure and throw everyone into the 1st round
@CazParker1871: It is so good to have you back on the airwaves @JeffStelling. A true voice for the rest of football to boot!
@robishere1987: Quite simply it’s the luck of the draw if the big teams get drawn against one another it’s the way it is it’s basically saying better luck next round
@dannyjbradders: Well said Jeff 👏
@baldfatlimey: I absolutely agree, not the best draw for Maidstone, they deserved a championship or premiership club, away, so the fans can have a great time away and the coffers can be filled. I felt sorry for my old club the longer the draw went on!
@Bern_lufc: Actually a good idea this….
@ashstfc1984: Love this man banging the drum for the lower league clubs but not sure I’d want to see that in the FA Cup draw. Surely the draw is part of the magic if teams know they are defo getting a prem/championship team it takes some of that magic away 🤔
@AdamSalter4: Disagree with Jeff on this one. Sure, seedings would make a ‘day in the sun’ more likely in the early rounds, but you’ve actually made it easier for the big teams to make it to the next round and made it harder for the non-league sides to progress.
@StueyMoore: This is an interesting idea and I wouldn’t be against it. But I think you risk all or most possibly then exiting the competition
@Kershaw444: Spot on Jeff and welcome back, I have missed that voice
@Wildeman9: Class idea
@ChrisLukeJones: It’s literally luck of the draw. Eastleighs “rotten draw” is actually incredibly winnable and it’d put them in round 4 with even more money in the bag?
@JBTEvans: Lincoln while in non league made it to the quarters, where they played Arsenal away. Seeding it would kill that chance.
@DmitriusOld: Assuming he is serious, seeded draws are the spawn of the devil, done for TV so that the “big clubs” can stay in it, and take the utter point of the FA Cup out of it (I’m even against regionalising it in the early rounds, given all the money in the game).
@redmeister81: Don’t be silly. It’s a random draw. Win the next game and the non league teams can draw a big team in the 4th or 5th like Kidderminster did a good few years back and played Newcastle. Seeding means no non league past the 3rd round.
@patrickpops: what so seed it to protect the premier league teams? No way. FA Cup should never be seeded. That’s the whole point of the FA Cup, any one can play any one.
@BandanaSavos: So he wants easier draws for the big teams?
@calmufc98: Rather just all prem ties are barred from TV until the 5th round minimum
@RichardSt_1976A: Absolutely spot on but the FA don’t want that though.
@rouleur66: Have to agree with him. Bit of a naff draw though TV bosses probably rubbing their hands. There should be a way of restructuring it but there will always be some calling it unfair. Maybe have Premier league in one pot and all the rest in another. Pick the PL vs P2 until done.
@Adbo99: Love this idea.
@JBTEvans: Jeff is wrong on so many levels here. Sunderland v Newcastle – yes please. Arsenal v Liverpool means one of the big clubs will be out early doors, which makes the competition more interesting. I’m sure Eastleigh will be on tv as 8 games are usually broadcast third round.
@DCopey98: Spot on this!
@StephenODonohu1: Couldn’t agree more
@Dave83C: Spot on @JeffStelling
@jellis_kev: Like the idea
@JamesMahoney10: It would definitely help the pyramid, but would basically be a bi for the bigger teams. It also takes away the magic of watching the draw, and hoping for one of those ties.
@maddoxruns: Couldn’t be more right. Perfect solution presented.
@LFCNathR: I like this, it’s what the FA cup Should be about. You’ll end up with the big teams at the end anyway so why not help Non League teams! And let their players, managers and fans have a memory of a life time! Maidstone away at Anfield, they probably wouldn’t about care the result!
@DeanMcMackin: Someone on the station finally gets it
@mdoogan97: Will make it significantly harder for lower league clubs to have a cup run. Leave it as it is
@iangregory70: Only change that needs to be made is not televising all premier league games over giving a lower league club a pay day. Yes Liverpool vs Arsenal I get but guarantee they will show some utter crap as well.