The Premier League have put forward radical plans to revamp the FA Cup and League Cup amid a congested domestic football season.
The last two seasons have seen FA Cup replays paused for the third and fourth round of the competition, with the Covid pandemic affecting the schedule.
While the same hasn’t been the case this term, postponements after the death of Queen have got many asking and debating about scheduling this season.
While the 2022-23 League (Carabao) Cup has been impacted by the winter World Cup, and the third, fourth and fifth round games taking place later than they did last term, uncertainty remains over the FA Cup.
Despite no final decision yet being made regarding the scrapping of replays, longer-term plans for both competitions have been put forward for consideration.
FA Cup replays scrapped in 3rd/4th round, League Cup either scrapped or elite clubs field U-21 sides & parachute payments reduced as part of Premier League ‘New Deal’ which will allow elite to play more matches in Europe/Asia/US etc. https://t.co/LUl9YWOPss
— Kieran Maguire (@KieranMaguire) September 20, 2022
According to The Times, new proposals are set to be discussed at a Premier League shareholders’ meeting on Wednesday with one of the ideas to be talked about is a potential move to scrap third and fourth round FA Cup replays for good from 2024.
The radical changes proposed would also see the role of the League Cup changed as the competition has been dominated by the Premier League’s big-hitters of late, but it seems reforms would see top teams – those involved in European competitions – instead field under-21 sides in the competition or pull out completely. The latter being what fans has suggested for a while now.
Such an approach has been put forward in an effort to ease fixture congestion for the biggest clubs in the country. But, with no team outside the top-flight making the final since Bradford City in 2013, the measures could well change the future of the competition drastically. Something fans might just approve of especially with it them same teams playing in the semis and finals nearly every season. Time for a mix up?
The report from The Times suggests teams from further down the pyramid could be open to the new proposals. But, the English Football League has reportedly been yet to be approached on the suggested reforms.
Other potential changes have reportedly been on the table as part of what is being dubbed a “New Deal for Football,” which will see distribution of funds to EFL sides while also reforming the parachute payment system which currently helps teams relegated from the top flight.
There had been suggestions that the Carabao Cup could be scrapped, unlikely to prove popular with the EFL or its member clubs, or to move the FA Cup schedule schedule to having all matches to midweek. Both competitions have seen changes made to their structure of late, with the League Cup changing early rounds from two legs to one in 2001 and the removal of FA Cup quarter-final and fifth-round replays in the last few years.
The proposed changes come ahead of suggested tweaks to the format of the Champions League from 2024 onwards. Europe’s top club competition potentially adding extra fixtures to the calendar and there are calls from the likes of UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin to follow others by getting rid of the League Cup. With four Premier League teams involved from the group stage onwards, a number of measures to ease fixture congestion continue to be explored.
“The league cup is off in France already,” Ceferin told The Times. “Only England remains.
“I think that everybody knows that it would be better for everyone if that were not played any more.
“But the problem is that, through that cup, you finance a lot of clubs that are quite disadvantaged, so I understand the problem.
“The English are also quite traditionalist, [they] like things that have been there for ages.”
This is what fans had to say as Premier League put forward radical plans to revamp the FA Cup and League Cup…
@Mcbcfc: We don’t want U21 sides in the league cup, clubs are either in or out, but there still must be a European spot available for the winner. FA cup if they get rid of replays, for lower league sides drawing prem sides they should get the option to play at home or away
@scottiesports: So the European Super League is still alive and well then, just in a different disguise?!?!?
@chomar61: Premier League, the theft of our national game , shame on them!
@PhilipShortland: And I can’t think of a single reform over the last 30 years which was designed to strengthen domestic cup competition?
@stonbank: I wish the “top 6” would of got their way and left domestic football to everyone else
@yip_kevin: All aimed at protecting the so called big 6. Exclusivity to make more money and so allow them to spend more than others. Fair competition no longer exists. They should have been thrown out and joined a european league.
@Sandancer1977: Disgraceful if the League Cup is scrapped or devalued. Very poor. American owners ruining English football.
@JamesAllen_17: Bye bye football pyramid
@RossWishart: Why do the Premier League clubs have the autonomy on this? 3rd / 4th round replays can be a big source of income for lower league clubs. The elite don’t give a toss about the pyramid and we should object to this as strongly as we did about the Super League.
@DoddsyDoddsy: So this is all to appease the top 6 sides with less games and other teams not allowed to catch them up with FFP. Along with VAR protecting the top 6 sides this is becoming more and more of a closed shop.
@prentonpete: Tell them to shove it. Throw a few scraps out and grab back as much as they possibly can. The “best” league in the world right there
@DirtyLeedsFC: “Football is for the fans!” 🙄
@johnnieK88: As much as the extra income would be welcome by EFL, but at what cost? The EFL cup is the trophy most likely to be won by a club outside top 4, playing under an 21s team would just trash it & it would become a hyped up Johnstone’s paint trophy. Hopefully the UK owners agree… 😬
@RBNUFC77: Just making it even easier for the Elite to stay Elite and to hold the other clubs back people need to open there eyes! Clubs are owned by billionaires the only reason these rules are made is to keep the small clubs small CARTEL BEHAVIOUR
@PaulDav86486288: So the lower league clubs are losing their chance of a big draw against an elite team ! The dream of a giant killing ! This is our beautiful game and the top 6 / Americans are dismantling it piece by piece ! Don’t let them devalue our competitions for their own gain
@AlexRus51130248: Just take you’re plastic teams with your plastic fans your clichéd commentary and biased crap abroad and let us real fans have our game back 🖕🏻
@comeonthetoon: This is greedy 6 only who wants this. Time for them to go to there ESL and win nothing , they won’t be welcomed back either
@Ryan1871_: Big 6 at it again. Wish they’d fuck off
U21 sides in the league cup.
The papa johns trophy was only the beginning as I’ve been banging on for years about.
The premier league giants want B teams in the pyramid and this is the pathway.
Send a strong message tonight and BACK THE BOYCOTT.
Our game depends on it.
@LukeSperry10: Would be a weird decision for most Premier League clubs if they decided to scrap the League Cup. A chance at a trophy gone, limited chance at getting in to Europe, and FA Cup would become harder to win. Half the league would leave themselves with nothing to play every season
@Thegeordiefaith: Games absolutely dead. So say a smaller team draw away to man United in round 3. It goes to penalties and they don’t get a big pay day at home. Absolutely awful this.
@iangregory70: Elite clubs shouldn’t have this much power. All so they can throw in a few friendlies mid season to make money while potentially cutting off a lifeline for lower league clubs who rely on the opportunity for a big cup tie etc.
@clifty04: I’ve got a better idea. Why don’t the ‘Big 6’ just fuck off and allow English football to carry on being the best league system in the world?
@Fire_and_Skill: Bit by bit, just like in society, the elite are changing the environment that allows them to extract more money. They have peddled the myth that has now become reality, that we play too many games, so to alter the environment with the blessing of fans who my think its a good idea.
@trevk37: How to carry on ruining top level football, is it any wonder people are turning to the more honest non-league game? 🤔
@pubester: The ‘elite’ pushing through Super League in a different guise.
@NCSL1892: Take note #NUFC & football fans throughout #EnglishFootball. This is the start of the #ESL MkII where the #Big6 #Cartel will use their might & power to change our domestic game for more #EU privileges & earnings. Sadly I doubt the #Small14 have the togethernesses to vote it out!🙏