CHANGES AFOOT?

FA Cup replays could be scrapped for winter break

Football chiefs may rejig cup calendar to make space for holidays

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On returning from their nightmare in South Africa, most of the England team weren’t in the country two minutes before mumbling something about “performances not being good enough, really” and promptly jetting back out on their holidays, leaving the nation’s half-witted pundits and ex-pros to hastily fashion suitably long-winded, blame-deflecting excuses in their absence.

With Fabio Capello refusing to budge until Euro 2012, accusing fingers have been directed away from Johnny Foreigner and are now being aimed squarely at congested fixture lists. As a result, FA chiefs are reportedly considering dropping FA Cup replays in order to make room for a fortnight-long winter break.

The Guardian explains:

The decision would have to be voted on by the 20 Premier League clubs, with a two-thirds majority required. If replays were abandoned it would free up a midweek slot that could accommodate a full round of league matches and allow a two-week winter break.

This opens up a sizeable can of worms, not least the denying of smaller clubs FA Cup TV revenue and gate receipts. Should the plans be passed, Premier League and FA suits will still have to convince teams to not use the break as a chance to go on a money-spinning jaunt to The Lucrative Asian Market.

Incidentally, of the 16 players who started for England during WC2010, only five were actually involved in cup replays last season.

So what do you reckon, is a half-term holiday the answer? Wouldn’t it be simpler for top-flight teams to just give players two weeks rest from their grueling training schedules? Rock your vote and/or comment below.


2 responses so far
  • wxwax // July 16, 2010 at 1:47 am

    “Incidentally, of the 16 players who started for England during WC2010, only five were actually involved in cup replays last season.”

    Perhaps so.

    But 100% of them did not have a winter break. Unlike Germany, for example.

  • Guyzer // July 20, 2010 at 11:22 pm

    Here’s an idea how to get the England players 1 month break by rescheduling EPL games to mid-week with no lost games. We can forget any reduction in EPL teams or number of EPL games. Money men just won’t let it happen. And less than a month is token. Germany players sparkle at international comps because they are always peaking again after their 6 week winter break.

    1) no FA cup replays, saves 1 week, 2) make EPL teams field under-23 teams (outfield players) in the league cup, saves their 1st choice players 2 weeks, 3) have 2 x EPL weekends where half of teams play and half rest, either side of the 3 non-playing weeks in January.

    The league cup would be much more interesting if we saw emerging EPL players in a genuine competition with Championship teams. It could get a buzz a bit like U.S. college football instead of being the bolt on nobody cares about. Need to change Euro qualification rules, but easily done.

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