No FA Cup replays next season plus new-look Carabao Cup

No FA Cup replays next season plus new-look Carabao Cup
Arsenal v Chelsea – Heads Up FA Cup Final – Wembley Stadium

FA Cup replays have been abolished for the forthcoming season and prize money reduced to 2017-18 levels as a result of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

With a shortened season starting a month later than usual there is more pressure on an already compacted calendar and the Football Association has taken the decision that all ties in the cup competition will be decided on the day.

Participating clubs, however, will be financially affected.

“In order to assist in easing pressure on the football schedule, there will be no replays for the 2020-21 season,” said an FA statement.

“After two seasons of record levels of prize funds, the Emirates FA Cup prize fund has returned back in line with 2017-18 levels due to the financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Significant changes have also been made by the EFL to the Carabao Cup, which will see the first four rounds compressed into consecutive weeks in September, the fifth round held the week before Christmas to avoid clashes with the Champions League and the end of much-criticised two-legged semi-finals.

Last-four ties will be played on January 5 or 6 with the club drawn first benefiting from home advantage.

Premier League clubs’ will enter the competition in either round two or round three for sides with European football commitments.

Fixtures for the new EFL season, which is set to be even busier than usual, will be released next Friday, September 21.

“Due to the unprecedented challenges facing the fixture calendar as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and starting six weeks later than usual, the Sky Bet EFL Championship will feature 13 midweek match rounds whilst League One and League Two will have 11 respectively throughout season 2020-21,” said an EFL statement.

Of next season’s Premier League sides only Tottenham, Everton, Sheffield United and Burnley are not taking part in the EFL Trophy, although relegated Norwich are.

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