FA official announcement confirms major shake-up as Preston North End impacted

The FA Cup format will be a little different for Preston North End and their Championship rivals next season.
Preston North End played Chelsea in the Emirates FA Cup this season. (Image: Getty Images)Preston North End played Chelsea in the Emirates FA Cup this season. (Image: Getty Images)
Preston North End played Chelsea in the Emirates FA Cup this season. (Image: Getty Images)

Preston North End will not play in an FA Cup replay for six years, after it was announced they were being scrapped.

An agreement has been reached between the Premier League and the FA that, from the 2024/25 season, there will be no replays. They will be scrapped at the first round stage. It is a rule that will be in place for six seasons, and is coming into place because of the demands placed on Premier League clubs who are involved in European competitions and have longer fixture schedules.

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Another change to the competition will see all rounds played at the weekend. The fifth round had been taking place in midweek, but now that has been reverted back to a more traditional time slot. No Premier League matches will be played on the fourth and fifth rounds if any of the top-flight teams are knocked out - and there will be an extended window from Friday to Wednesday, to allow fans to watch consecutive days of FA Cup football.

The FA Cup final will take place on the penultimate weekend of the Premier League season and will be played on a Saturday. No top-flight games will be played on the day before or on the same day as the final, to allow for a better build-up of the fixture.

Explaining the decision chief executive Mark Bullingham, commented: "The Emirates FA Cup is our biggest asset and generates over 60 per cent of our revenue to invest into the game, so it is critical to secure a strong format for the future. This new agreement between the FA and the Premier League strengthens the Emirates FA Cup and gives this very special tournament exclusive weekends in an increasingly busy calendar.

"The new schedule ensures the magic of the Cup is protected and enhanced, while working for the whole of the English game. The longer summer period also allows a much-needed player break before the start of the next season.”

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PNE haven't played an FA Cup replay since the 2014/15 season. They beat Sheffield United to progress to the fifth round and lost to Manchester United. Since then they've only progressed twice to the fourth round.

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