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FA Cup loses its lustre


Proposals to change the format of the FA Cup are being considered.   They represent a further downgrading of the competition which was once on a par with the league and arguably a more glamorous trophy to win.

Proposals for a winter break have been revived yet again, raising issues of fixture congestion.  Any changes will have to wait until the completion of the Emirates sponsorship deal with the FA Cup, which has been extended for three years until 2021, and the next round of Premier League TV rights which expires in 2022. The staging of the World Cup in Qatar in November and December 2022 also provides a window of opportunity.

Under the proposals being considered the FA Cup would become mainly a midweek tournament with replays scrapped from the fourth round onwards.  The FA  wants to keep the present third round format.

I have never been convinced by the case for a winter break.  If it is to avoid bad weather, one can never be sure when that will come in the British winter which in any case is seeing less snow and ice.  If it is for Premier League players to chill out in the warmth of Dubai, I don't have a lot of sympathy.