Significant changes look to be coming to the FA Cup as the Football Association prepares to sell the tournament’s overseas broadcasting rights to the Premier League. This would give control of FA Cup scheduling to the English top-flight division. The Premier League is looking for more control of the fixture list due to the expansion of the Champions League.
According to The Guardian, a deal between the FA and Premier League is close. This is even though the association claims that no agreement is in place and negotiations with potential buyers are ongoing. It is believed that choosing the Premier League would help distribute money down the English soccer pyramid.
Sports media managing companies furious with move
IMG, the company that currently manages the FA Cup’s broadcasting rights here in North America, has had an annual deal in place for about $120 million. The news outlet also claims that the FA was nearing a $37.5 million deal with Infront. The agency would have gained control of broadcasting rights to Eastern Europe, Latin America, Asia-Pacific and parts of Africa. Infront is understandably angry that the FA pulled the plug on negotiations.
FA Cup, Premier League games to coexist in same week
With the Premier League reportedly close to taking over, there will be major changes to the scheduling of the FA Cup. First of all, the Premier League would abolish replays. Any draws during the tournament, even in the early portion of the competition, would go to penalties. Furthermore, early rounds may happen as midweek contests.
The FA Cup Final would also not be on a stand-alone weekend at the end of the season. Instead, the massive matchup would move to the Saturday of the second-to-last week of the Premier League season. Then, the top-flight games this weekend would be on Sunday.
These changes would kick in during the 2024/25 season. The upcoming campaign would be the last under the traditional scheduling.
Mail Sport is claiming that lower-level clubs are not happy with the potential move. Sources from these minor teams say that the FA is essentially taking a bribe from the Premier League. In exchange, the English top flight will also funnel more funds to the grassroots level in England.
PHOTO: IMAGO & PA Images
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