EFL respond to FA and Premier League decision involving Bristol City and Bristol Rovers

The EFL have revealed that the agreement to scrap FA Cup replays was agreed between the Premier League and FA without their consultation in an official statement.

The FA announced on Thursday that from next season replays after the FA Cup first round would be abolished as part of a new agreement with the Premier League. Since the announcement, numerous football clubs across the pyramid have released statements condemning the decision.

Bristol Rovers are one of the clubs to make a statement, saying that they are “extremely disappointed” with the decision. Bristol City haven’t yet made a statement at the time of writing.

In response to the outrage voiced by the football world over the subsequent 24 hours, the FA released a second statement stating that they had been discussing the calendar for the 2024/25 season with the Premier League and EFL for over a year and that all parties accepted that replays could not continue.

However, this has been rubbished by the EFL in the following statement: “The EFL wishes to clarify further its position in respect of yesterday’s Premier League and Football Association bi-lateral announcement over the removal of FA Cup replays and the role of the League’s representatives on the Professional Game Board (PGB).

“The agreement which now sees the abolition of replays from the competition format was agreed solely between the Premier League and FA. Ahead of the deal being announced there was no agreement with the EFL nor was there any formal consultation with EFL Clubs as members of the FA and participants in the competition.

“In September 2023, the EFL did initially discuss with Clubs potential changes to the FA Cup format but only as part of a wider and more fundamental change to financial distributions. As is now clear, there has been no movement in this area since September.

“This latest agreement between the Premier League and the FA, in the absence of financial reform, is just a further example of how the EFL and its Clubs are being marginalised in favour of others further up the pyramid and that only serves to threaten the future of the English game.

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