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FA Cup Replays Scrapped - Ipswich Town News

FA Cup replays have been scrapped from round one onwards from next season.

A new six-year agreement between the Premier League and FA will see replays now not be played in the competition proper having been scrapped from the fifth round in the 2017/18 season.

The FA Cup qualifying rounds in which teams from the fifth to the 10th tiers take part will continue to have replays.

The move will be controversial as a break with tradition and with replays lucrative to smaller clubs, although some Town fans may welcome no longer having to make midweek trips to the likes of Barrow and Oldham as has been the case in recent years.

The new arrangement will also see all rounds of the tournament played at weekends exclusive of Premier League fixtures, fifth round games having been scheduled for midweek for the last five years. The fourth round will have an extended window from Friday to Wednesday in which FA Cup ties will be played on consecutive days.

The FA Cup final will now be moved to the penultimate weekend of the Premier League season with no top-flight matches that day or on the Friday before in order "to allow focus on the build-up to the showpiece event”.

The Premier League will increase its funding to grassroots football by £33 million.

"The FA Cup is our biggest asset,” FA chief executive Mark Bullingham said. "This new agreement between the FA and the Premier League strengthens the FA Cup and gives this very special tournament exclusive weekends in an increasingly busy calendar.

"We have also agreed new funding for the grassroots game, disability football and the women's and girls' game.

"All football begins at the grassroots, and this is recognised by the Premier League with very welcome additional financial support.”

Premier League chief executive, Richard Masters, added: "The Premier League is proud of the investment it provides to all levels of the game and this new agreement with the FA will see us enhance our support into grassroots football.

"This will improve facilities for communities and lower league clubs across the country, through the Football Foundation and Premier League Stadium Fund.

"Throughout our discussions, both parties have been committed to enhancing the scheduling of the Emirates FA Cup, a hugely important domestic competition with a storied history.

"The FA and the Premier League have worked in partnership to deliver more exclusive weekends without compromising the excitement of knockout football and this has been achieved at the same time as allowing us to ease fixture congestion generally.”

The Premier League has also scrapped its mid-season break to allow the season to start in mid-August, allowing players to get a consecutive three-week break in the summer, following expert advice from medical and technical departments.

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