The Twohundredpercent Vault: FA Cup Replays And The Winter Break

Normal service will resume later today here on Twohundredpercent, but in the meantime here is our final article from the site’s archive. With the FA Cup Third Round just around the corner, we’re going back to this time last year and an impassioned argument from Rob Freeman on the subject of a winter break for English football. Earlier this week, Owen Gibson of the Guardian reported that the FA were considering making a change to the FA Cup (under a banner of revitalisation for the competition) in order to help create a mid-season break, in order to the England squad. The change is one that would seismic across English football, and that change would be scrapping FA Cup replays. Even in the article itself, the suggestion is that the scrapping of FA Cup replays would only free up one midweek date, and that midweek date would be filled by a set of fixtures allowing for a two week break, or in other words, one Saturday off. However, far from revitalising the competition, it may be the beginning of the end for the world’s oldest football competition. In 1991, the FA scrapped the possibility of second replays, and that any tie unresolved after extra time of the second game would instead be decided by penalties. This change wasn’t one of the FA’s making – instead their hand was forced by...

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