Laithwaite Independent Financial Advisers

Club Statement | FA Cup Changes

5:30pm, Sun 21st Apr 2024
Woking Football Club is extremely disappointed in the unilateral changes to the FA Cup replay format made by the Professional Game Board with no consultation with the wider body of the EFL, the National League or Grassroots football.

The FA Cup, which is the most globally admired domestic competition in all of sport, will lose its lustre with the decision to eliminate replays from the First Round Proper forward in the 2024/25 season.

This decision, taken by the PGB – without consultation with the key stakeholders that participate in the competition – is both short-sighted and damaging to the integrity, allure and “magic” of the FA Cup.

Every year, lower division clubs scratch and claw their way for an opportunity to become a giant killer – in many cases, this opportunity comes via a replay. So many clubs rely on replays to increase revenue, increase exposure and build the power of their respective Club’s brand.

It’s egregious to change the format in any way from its current form. Increased UEFA competitions are being blamed, yet the Premier League doesn’t even join the FA Cup until the 3rd Round Proper; this makes it all the more frustrating.

The Club does recognise and appreciate the additional funding to be provided by the Premier League, but there has been no explanation of the distribution thereof. There has also been a pledge to televise more early-round matches to increase broadcast money for clubs, but that is yet to be quantified.

This has cast a shadow on our beautiful game, and the FA should suspend any such changes until feedback is solicited from all key stakeholders, and the further implications and ramifications of their actions are fully considered.


--Board of Directors, Woking FC

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Woking Football Club Limited
A company incorporated in England and Wales (company number: ‍03329172)
Registered office The Laithwaite Community Stadium, Kingfield, Woking, Surrey, GU22 9AA

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