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Morecambe FC ‘outraged’ at decision to scrap FA Cup replays as club calls for independent regulator

Morecambe FC has condemned the decision taken to scrap replays in the FA Cup from next season.

Yesterday’s decision, taken by the English Football League and the Premier League, removes replays from the first round proper stage from the 2024/25 season, along with other changes to the competition.

Currently, there are no replays from round five onwards.

The move has been met with widespread disapproval from clubs across the EFL and non-league football, with many seeing the removal of replays as denying clubs lower down the football pyramid potentially lucrative revenue.

In a statement, Morecambe Football Club have echoed these calls, and have urged the FA to suspend them immediately until all stakeholders in the game are properly consulted.

‘’[We are] outraged with the FA and Premier League’s decision to make significant and impactful changes to the FA Cup, without any engagement with the vast majority of clubs and stakeholders that contribute to the best cup competition in world football.

‘’It is a sad indictment of the game that however much this decision, and the way it was reached disappoints us, it no longer is any surprise.

‘’The contempt that is shown by those making these decisions towards anyone, and anything, outside of their organisations is clear from recent developments such as this and the lack of any meaningful movement on a much-needed new deal for football.

‘’The Club learned of the significant news via the public press release, with no prior knowledge of any discussions of this nature or plans to make changes that affect those at the bottom end of the pyramid far more than those at the top.

‘’Football is broken, there will be no magical fix without meaningful change and those with vested interests are clearly unable to sort this. Yet again it is clear as day that an independent regulator is required and as soon as possible, before more football clubs reach their limit. Communities and supporters will be broken and devasted – all whilst we watch a handful of teams spend sums of money that is beyond comprehension.

‘’We call on the FA to suspend the decision immediately and properly consult with the game’s Stakeholders.’’

"Removing Emirates FA Cup replays was discussed in the early meetings and all parties accepted that they could not continue," said a statement from the FA.

"The discussions then focused on how to make all of our competitions stronger, despite having fewer dates available and wanting to maintain player welfare.

"The changes to the Emirates FA Cup achieve this by returning it to a weekend competition on every round, and ensuring that we have exclusive broadcast slots in an increasingly congested calendar," the FA said.

"We have also increased the number of Emirates FA Cup matches that will be broadcast in the early rounds, which will lead to additional guaranteed broadcast revenue for EFL and National League teams. Additionally, we review the prize money annually for the competition, together with representatives from the EFL and PL and will do the same for the 2024-25 season."

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