FA Cup Replays Scrapped & Other Plans to Ease Fixture Congestion for 2020/21 Season

Manchester United v Chelsea - FA Cup: Semi Final
There will be no replays in the FA Cup next season | Pool/Getty Images

FA Cup replays will be scrapped for the 2020/21 season as authorities look to ease fixture congestion. Meanwhile, the Premier League clubs who are still involved in European competitions could be handed a 30-day grace period after their final game of the 2019/20 campaign.

One of the major issues that has arisen during the coronavirus pandemic has the rescheduling and managing of fixtures. It was confirmed this week that the 2020/21 Premier League season would get underway again on 12 September (just seven weeks on from the last day of the previous campaign) and will finish on 23 May. The EFL will also start fresh on the same day.

The Mirror now report, however, that as a result of the new fixture schedule, there will be a knock-on effect on the two domestic competitions (FA Cup and EFL Cup). As a result, the Football Association have agreed to scrap all replays for next season, despite the major benefits of these matches on lower-division clubs.

However, 'top clubs' are said to be having 'major concerns' about the EFL Cup and teams in the Champions League and Europa League have been 'threatening' to pull out of the competition if they are not given the chance to field Under-23s teams next term. From their point of view, it is noted they 'insist' there isn't time for their first-team squad to recover and play in every competition.

Talks regarding this matter are set to continue this week and next and while tensions are rising, the EFL are 'determined' to maintain the competition.

Jurgen Klopp
Jurgen Klopp was forced to select a number of youngsters in the Carabao Cup this season | Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

However, while the Premier League's top clubs are beginning to show their frustration over next season's fixture schedule, the Daily Mail now report that teams who are currently still in European competitions could be given more time to rest and recover before commencing the 2020/21 league season.

Clubs such as Manchester City and Chelsea (both of whom are still in the Champions League) and Wolves and Manchester United (both of whom are in the Europa League), could be given a grace period. This means that these teams would not play their first league game next season until 30 days after their final European game of 2019/20.

For example, with the Champions League final due to be played on 23 August, should Man City reach the final two, they would not play their first league game next season until 22 September - a full days later than the first gameweek of 2020/21.

The same would apply with regards to the Europa League, with its final scheduled for 21 August.