FA Cup Replays and the Winter Break


Ian began writing Twohundredpercent in May 2006. He lives in Brighton. He has also written for, amongst others, Pitch Invasion, FC Business Magazine, The Score, When Saturday Comes, Stand Against Modern Football and The Football Supporter. Ian was the first winner of the Socrates Award For Not Being Dead Yet at the 2010 NOPA awards for football bloggers.

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10 Responses

  1. Adam says:

    Great article. The FA Cup is being made a scapegoat because of international failure and no replays will bring down the reputation of the competition even further.

    As you say the Premier League need to reduce the number of sides but of course that wouldn’t ever be voted for by the 12 sides who are happy just to be there and to pick up a fat wad of cash.

    Again, I think removing Premier League sides (or at least those involved in Europe) from the League Cup would be a good idea but sponsors and TV stations will not pay big money for a competition without Man Utd, Chelsea etc.

  2. Paul Raymond says:

    This will also hit any non-league club that reaches the 1st round as their is a fund where 5% of gate receipts of each replay game upto and including the 6th round but not involving non-league clubs is put into a pool and then paid out equally to non-league clubs this is approximatley woth £10k to each club, not a huge amount but every bit helps.

  3. Matt says:

    I’m in favour of scrapping the league cup for PL teams. Call it the Football League Cup or something.

    Italy and Spain just have one domestic cup competition right?

  4. Michael Wood says:

    “I’m in favour of scrapping the league cup for PL teams. Call it the Football League Cup or something.”

    Isn’t it already called the Football League Cup :)

  5. ejh says:

    Italy and Spain just have one domestic cup competition right?

    So what?

  6. Albert Ross says:

    One of the more telling things for me about it is that one of the suggestions – reducing the size of the Premier League – is clearly the best option for reducing the number of games played, and yet is the least likely to happen – wasn’t it only 18 months ago that we had the whole 39th game thing? The problem is that the clubs are unlikely ever to do it because it reduces their revenues, and some would also fear being the extra clubs to go down.

    As has been noted many times, the Premier League do not have the best interests of the England Team at heart and that will only change if they are convinced that a successful England team will mean more revenue. Possibly if they all see a drop-off in attendences following England’s relative failure this summer they may get the point, but I won’t be holding my breath.

  7. Martin says:

    The FA’s priority is to look after the Premier League mainly because the key decision-makers at the FA are also Premier League officials, especially since the resignation of the only other people who wanted to reduce the Premier League’s dominant position.

  8. Mark says:

    Follow the German model for qualification to the FA Cup, make the County Cup competitions from the previous season also qualifying competitions for non-league clubs. For instance, winners and runners-up from each county. This would give a boost in status to the county cup competitions. This in turn would remove a number of qualifying rounds and allow the FA Cup to start earlier in the season.

  9. Alan J says:

    If a winter break came in, all it would to is encourage the big clubs to go on tour to Africa/Asia to play money spinning friendlies.

  10. Timshorts says:

    The whole winter break scam is flawed with illogicality. Yes they have it on the continent. So what. As I see it:-

    a) The continental clubs like a winter break partly because they and their supporters are used to it. In the UK, supporters see Christmas football as a festive tradition. Most of them, lets be fair would rather attend a match than go to church to celebrate christmas. By the time that Boxing day and New Years Day come around, the non-football loving spouses see a match as a good reason to get their other halves out from under their feet. We used to have games on Christmas day. In the States, they still do – and on thanksgiving, although Detroit and Dallas hardly make spectacular viewing right now.

    b) It assumes that we don’t have a winter break already. Most seasons, that isn’t the case for clubs whose grounds are ill prepared for the frost/hard ground. The games just get postponed instead providing a nice enforced rest from competitive football for the little darlings.

    c) It assumes that our weather is predictable and snow just happens to come along to conveniently co-incide with the winter break. This is clearly total rubbish. It works slightly better in Europe as being a large land mass, the temperatures are a little more predictable. Here. Every time the English FA bleats on about a winter break, the suggestion seems to be that it should take place between christmas and mid-jan or thereabouts. That’s great. Half the time, matches are quite playable during this period. How often do we get a white Christmas? Then the boys would get back to re-start at the end of Jan and early Feb to find that the bad weather has set in and we end up with a double-length break and fixture chaos.

    d)Finally, it is being used as an excuse for the England team being rubbish. That is pathetic. Right now they are rubbish anyway. If they had all been given August-February off, they would still be rubbish. The only people that can’t see that they are rubbish are the English themselves. So, FA, you’d better make sure that there is never a winter break in this country as that would be one excuse down the pan, and that would only leave you with “our players play too many games”, “there are too many foreign players in the Premier League” (which is obviously a somewhat contradictory argument to the first one) or “we are just rubbish” to pick from. Well you know which of these is the truth.

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