22nd April 2024

Following the announcement made by the FA regarding the removal of FA Cup Replays, we have sent the following letter to the Football Association:

Dear Sirs,

We were first made aware of the proposal to remove FA Cup replays on 18th April 2024 when the announcement was made by the Football Association. We had not been consulted about this either by the Football Association or the National League.

We do not agree with the approach suggested, the provision of replays is a vital source of income for non-league clubs. The FA Cup is intrinsically linked with replays of fixtures and to suggest that they can be removed is contrary to history and the well-being of football as a whole.

The most recent study into the financial impact of the FA Cup was completed by Deloitte for the 2010/11 season and provided in January 2012. For example, the FA Cup revenue represented 70% of Havant & Waterlooville’s income during 2010/11.

There were 12 televised replays during 2010/11 which generated approximately £1.7m in broadcast fees. These fees will have substantially increased given there are an increased number of televised replays and the fixture fees are increased.

There are specific examples contained in the case study:

  • Millwall – 2003/04 – Generated £300k in additional television receipts;
  • Burton – 2005/06 – Generated £0.5m during a replay with Manchester United alongside £200k for television payments;
  • Leyton Orient – 2010/11 – An additional £500k was generated due to the replay with Arsenal (when taken with the home fixture).

The above clearly demonstrates the financial importance of replayed fixtures. It is unfortunate that the FA do not appear to have undertaken any analysis/research.

The FA made a further announcement on 19th April 2024 indicating that the Premier League and EFL were consulted. It is unfortunate that National League clubs (i.e. those impacted) were not consulted.

We would invite the FA to provide a full explanation and to revert to a consultation that properly considers those stakeholders who are most fundamentally impacted by the proposed changes.

We are sending this as open correspondence and encourage fans and other member clubs to send the same correspondence. Yeovil Town’s motto is achieve by unity and the only way to challenge these changes will be if the National League and EFL clubs stand united.

Yeovil Town Football Club