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Explained: How FA Cup replay changes affect Leeds United

The Football Association has confirmed that FA Cup replays will be scrapped from the first round proper at the beginning of the 2024/25 season

Leeds United and the other 71 clubs in the English Football League were allegedly not consulted on the format change in the world’s oldest club competition.

The change has been poorly received by clubs throughout the English football pyramid, as replays can help provide vital funds for clubs in lower divisions.

What was said?

FA Cup. Credit: Imago Images

English Football League (EFL) chief executive Trevor Birch called the announcement “frustrating and disappointing” and that “ultimately this represents another lost traditional revenue stream for EFL clubs at a time when the financial gap between the biggest clubs and those further down the pyramid is growing bigger”.

He added: “We will now be discussing the implications for EFL clubs and seeking appropriate compensation arrangements.”

The Football Supporters’ Association (FSA) said it recognised the strain the football calendar was placing on top clubs but that the announcement “has not gone down well with a lot of fans up and down the country”.

The FSA said fans were concerned the decision would diminish “the magic of the competition” and that it had “shared those concerns with the FA”.

How does this affect Leeds United?

Daniel Farke. Credit: Imago Images

Despite not being in the Premier League, Leeds United are in the enviable position of not having to rely on the money gained through replays.

If anything, this could be a positive step for the Whites, as it may loosen what has become a very congested fixture list, something that manager Daniel Farke has commented on in the past.

“It’s a difficult topic,” he said. “You know I really don’t normally complain about the load. I always concentrate just on things we can influence and also I don’t like to speak about too much load and the players are tired.

“I always try to smile it away and tell you the players would rather play football and play games instead of being involved in training sessions. So I’m never too concerned about this topic and I know it’s also a difficult topic because we all get the benefits from broadcasters because they bring so much money on the table and we have to take this into account, but sometimes there’s also a topic where I would think ‘okay, enough is enough.’ Said Farke after Leeds United made it to the FA Cup fifth round.

It’s just a shame that potentially positive news for Leeds United comes at the price of stability further down the pyramid.

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