Burnley boss Vincent Kompany has his say on controversial FA Cup changes as replays set to be scrapped

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Vincent Kompany can see both sides of the argument over the recent fallout over the controversial changes made to the FA Cup.
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It’s been announced that from next season replays will be scrapped from the first round onwards.

All rounds of the FA Cup will also be played on weekends, including the fifth round which has been played in midweek for the past five seasons.

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The final, meanwhile, will now take place on the penultimate weekend of the Premier League season.

The changes come as part of a new six-year agreement between the FA and the Premier League.

Sides in the EFL and non-league won’t be happy with the changes, given replays can often be a crucial way to create revenue.

Many clubs in the top flight, however, will be pleased with the reduction in fixtures from the sporting calendar.

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The FA has announced huge changes to the FA Cup for next seasonThe FA has announced huge changes to the FA Cup for next season
The FA has announced huge changes to the FA Cup for next season

Weighing in on the issue, Kompany said: “I can see where the need is coming from in terms of the load and the games for the top teams, but I can also see as well it’s a little bit against tradition and the needs of the smaller teams.

“I haven’t given it much thought though and we will just deal with whatever is presented.”

The main accusation from supporters of so-called ‘smaller’ sides is that these changes are once again geared towards the top teams.

When asked if this is further evidence of the growing gap between the top six and the rest, Kompany said: “They are two different questions. For the FA Cup, I can see it from both sides. One, the match load on players, the other is the revenue for the smaller clubs, so I can see it from both sides.

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“The other one about the gap between the rest of the league and the top six, if you talk about the gap between the Premier League and the Championship, I would agree, and the lower divisions.

“But if you look at the Premier League, when I joined [as a player] there was a top three. Then it became a top four and since then it’s five, six and you’re nearly at seven because of teams like Newcastle joining that race.

“I would certainly say there are more teams adding to that top level of the league but those teams at the very top have years of playing together, they’ve got top managers, they’ve had the resources for years so you don’t catch that up within a year just because you say you want to do that.”

The FA Cup qualifying rounds – where teams from the fifth to the 10th tiers of English football compete for 32 spots in the first round – will still have replays when ties are level after 90 minutes.

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EFL chief executive Trevor Birch said the decision to scrap replays from the first round is "frustrating and disappointing" and that the EFL will be "seeking appropriate compensation arrangements".

The FA says the agreement will see the Premier League increase its funding to grassroots football, with an additional £33m being provided.

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