FA slashes prize money and scraps Cup re­plays

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Sport Football - sports news correspond­ent By Tom Mor­gan

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.

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