Proposal to revive FA cup replays to be tabled in Commons

MPs will attempt to revive FA Cup replays by seeking to amend proposed football governance legislation.

All teams involved in the competition would be given an equal vote in deciding how it is organised under the proposal floated by Liberal Democrat MP Tim Farron.

The Commons heard this would pave the way for clubs to vote to restore replays in a future season.

The Football Association announced last week that it had reached an agreement with the Premier League on the future format and funding of the competition, which would include all replays from the first round being abolished.

Several English Football League (EFL) clubs were among those to criticise the changes.

Speaking as MPs considered the Football Governance Bill, Blackburn Rovers fan Mr Farron (Westmorland and Lonsdale) said: “I’m going to mention replays, I’m going to put an amendment to this Bill, if I’m permitted, to bring back the replays in the FA Cup, but also to restructure things so that all competing teams get an equal vote in deciding the organisation and rules of the FA Cup.

“It’s an absolute outrage and nothing more underlines the arrogance and complacency of the Premier League than thinking they can dictate to the rest of the league and non-league how this glorious and almost ancient competition will be.

“So if my amendment is successful they might get away with one year of no replays, we’ll get them back the year afterwards when the whole of the footballing establishment actually gets a vote.”

Conservative MP Anna Firth, a supporter of Southend United, said it was “concerning” to hear about the decision to scrap replays.

She said: “Everybody knows the magic of the FA Cup, every single person hearing those words will have a memory.”

Conservative MP Shaun Bailey (West Bromwich West) described the news as a “complete kick in the teeth” for clubs further down the football pyramid.

In a statement last week, the FA and Premier League said the decision to drop replays from the first round had been made “in light of changes to the calendar driven by the expanded Uefa competitions”.