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HomeFA CupSemi-final managers criticise scrapping of FA Cup replays

Semi-final managers criticise scrapping of FA Cup replays

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag and Coventry counterpart Mark Robins have criticised the decision to scrap FA Cup replays, as the teams prepare to meet in the competition’s semi-finals this weekend.

The FA and Premier League have reached an agreement to scrap FA Cup replays from next season, with England’s top flight instead agreeing to provide extra funding to the football pyramid.

The decision comes amid concerns over the congested calendar, though Ten Hag said that while ‘inevitable’ the decision is ‘very sad for the British football culture’.

 

“It’s very sad for the British football culture but I also think it is also inevitable, and no-one can do anything for it,” Ten Hag said at his pre-match press conference.

“It’s due to the overload in the schedule, and that’s dictated by Fifa and Uefa.

“We are a big competition, and we have a big influence and a big impact, but there are so many other countries and there is so much overload on the players and it has to stop. As I said, I feel really sorry and sad for the clubs in England but, for top players, we have to make some space in the schedule.”

Robins was critical of the agreement and said England’s top clubs should not forget the contribution of the Football League to the pyramid. He called the choice to scrap replays a ‘kick in the teeth’ for lower league sides.

“It does kick everyone in the teeth below that level,” he said. “There’s nothing we can do about it, apart from voice our concerns. Maybe there is a re-think for those clubs but it’s really difficult for them to come to terms with.

“It’s difficult because you look at it and those clubs, the grassroots, the EFL and below are all part of the pyramid which needs to feed each other – and eventually feeds the Premier League.

 

“There are a lot of players who come out from academies from Premier League teams who get the game time, understanding, experience (in the EFL) and then they go back and make it at the clubs. Sometimes they get into the international teams. We’ve all played our part in developing them and that should never be underestimated or forgotten about.

“There are other things which could have happened like replays up until the third round which doesn’t impact on the bigger clubs.”

Read – Six talking points ahead of the Premier League weekend

See more – Fantasy Premier League: Four transfers to target for GW34

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