The FA have today doubled down on stopping FA Cup replays, which will have a huge impact on the revenue for smaller clubs in the competition.

The decision to stop FA Cup draw replays in favour of extra time/penalties risks revenues for lower league clubs in our area – and was made without consulting them. It will mean fewer FA cup games, less income brought into our community, and less investment in local grassroots football.

This comes on the back of the decision to take the majority of FA cup games off free-to-air BBC/ITV channels next year in favour of a paid-subscription deal with TNT sports, and is another slap in the face of the world’s oldest football competition.

When I backed the 2022 fan-led review of the football pyramid, the Government told me they would take action if the Premier League and EFL couldn’t fix the mess. They haven’t, as financial settlement plans have been shelved.

As a Barrow fan (for my sins), I agree with the club’s statement that “…for nights like these to be ripped away from us and hundreds of other clubs is simply unacceptable.”

The Prime Minister says this is a decision for the footballing authorities – and not the Government’s problem.

Now I’m asking the Government to back Labour’s calls for a new independent football regulator, bring forward the long overdue Football Governance Bill – and step in to save the FA cup.

The FA cup is one of the purest forms of football where the smallest clubs can take on the giants, create iconic moments and historic upsets.

But across the sport, whether it’s FFP investigations, VAR/PGMOL controversies, big money takeovers, parachute payments, extortionate season ticket prices, supporting the Women’s Super League and regional leagues, broadcast blackouts, ever-changing rip-off viewer subscriptions, or investment in the grassroots, the future of football is increasingly fragile, and we must act.

Read my letter here:

Link to Instagram Link to Twitter Link to YouTube Link to Facebook Link to LinkedIn Link to Snapchat Close Fax Website Location Phone Email Calendar Building Search