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Pompey Supporters' Trust Statement on FA Cup Changes
By the PST Board

Added on 19 April 2024

The FA Cup is a glorious tradition of English football, loved by fans and celebrated across the world. As two-time FA Cup winners, Portsmouth Football Club have a rich history in the competition, and the 2008 trophy win remains the emotional high point of many Pompey fans‘ footballing memories

Recent years have seen repeated tinkering to satisfy the needs of a handful of wealthy clubs, and the latest changes announced yesterday see the removal of all replays from round one proper onwards. 

The PST views replays as an integral part of the competition, it brings an added element of excitement and tension to the games and an opportunity to share football experiences at new grounds. For clubs it can be a vital revenue stream, and the dream of a replay with a club higher up the pyramid can be a vital money spinner. 

The opening sentence from the FA press release is, “The FA and the Premier League have reached a new agreement which will strengthen the Emirates FA Cup format with new and exclusive calendar windows”. 732 teams entered this years FA Cup and yet it appears a discussion between the governing body and a representative of just 20 of those clubs was enough to decide the Cups future. In reality, as with most things in English football these days, its about money, with the EPL using its “soft power” to manipulate our national sport. 

The statement also mentioned the influence of UEFA and its calendar. The fact UEFA or the EPL should have a say in rounds one and two of the FA Cup, involving teams from outside the top flight, seems bizarre.

This decision and the statement by which it was delivered to clubs and fans alike highlights the wider issues we currently have in football and why independent regulation is required to ensure fans have a say in the way their game and their clubs are run. 

As always the PST is keen to hear the views of fans to ensure we are able to make valid representations both with Pompey and also nationally.

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