FA slashes prize money and scraps Cup replays
The Football Association has scrapped FA Cup replays to ease scheduling pressure, while the Carabao Cup will no longer stage semifinals over two legs.
Prize money for the FA Cup winners will be cut by around half due to financial pressure on the governing body’s budget.
FA Cup ties will be decided on the day, to ease pressure on available match dates caused by the Premier League and Champions League starting later than usual.
Preliminary qualifying begins on Sept 1, with the FA Cup final taking place on May 15, while the first four rounds of the Carabao Cup will take place in September.
The FA is cutting 124 jobs in the biggest cost-saving drive in its history, following a projected £300 million loss because of Covid-19.
The Premier League, English Football League and FA all confirmed their match dates yesterday. England’s top tier kick off on Sept 12, with the last game of the season just 19 days before the rearranged European Championship begins in Rome on June 11 2021.
The Premier League needs 34 weekends and four midweek match days for its campaign, leaving the earliest end date as May 23. Its full fixture schedule for all 380 matches will be announced by Aug 21.
Uncertainty remains over the participation in next season’s Carabao Cup. “The Premier League will continue to consult the FA and EFL regarding the scheduling of all domestic competitions,” a Premier League statement said.
Sept 12 was deemed the latest weekend workable by the Premier League to fit in all the games. The late start means the league has reduced its winter break to just a few days to squeeze the campaign in ahead of the rearranged Euros.
The forthcoming campaign will be five weeks shorter than usual and to allow clubs time to plan a few days off after the New Year, the Premier League has split the 18th round of matches across two midweeks, between Jan 13 and 20.