Welcome to Talking Points. This is the first in a new series of weekly football debates on the forums. Every week there will be a different topic for you to discuss on the forums. This week we start with an FA Cup themed topic, 'Should FA Cup Replays Be Scrapped?'.
Replays have been part of the FA Cup since the birth of modern football in 1871. The first replayed Final was in 1875 as Royal Engineers beat Old Etonians 2-0 after originally drawing 1-1 (AET). Starting with the 2000-01 FA Cup, Final and Semi Final replays were scrapped with coming in the last Semi Final replay. More recently the 2016-17 competition saw Sixth Round Proper (Quarter Final) replays abolished. Last month the FA announced FA Cup Fifth Round replays would be scrapped starting with this season's competition. Replays still happen in the ten rounds from the Extra Preliminary Round in August till the Fourth Round Proper in January/February.
FA Cup Replays have long been a vital financial boost for smaller clubs. One notable example is in Fourth Round of the 2014-15 competition Cambridge United earned £1 million from the gate receipts of their replay away to Manchester United. The club's annual turnover the season before was just £1.6 million so this represented almost two-thirds of their total income the previous season. In addition to this 5% payment of the gate receipts from all replayed matches during the Competition Proper are divided between the 32 non-league clubs who reached the First Round of the Competition Proper. In recent years this has meant the clubs have each earned an additional fee of approximately £10k in addition to the prize money, gate receipts and TV money they have already earned. For some of these clubs this £10k could pay their wage bill for a few months.
Over the years some of the competition's greatest moments have come in replays, including a giant killing which was voted "best FA Cup tie ever" in a 2007 poll by The Observer newspaper. Part-time Hereford United defeated top-flight Newcastle United in a tie which saw non-league victors, five postponements, the birth of John Motson's career, a right-back who played with a broken leg and an on-duty policeman who started a pitch invasion. The original tie was postponed twice due a water logged pitch in Newcastle before eventually ending in a 2-2 draw. The replay was postponed a further three times before taking place on Fourth Round day. Hereford won in extra-time thanks to goals from part time joiner Ronnie Radford and Rickie George. which flew into the top corner of Northern Ireland international Willie McFaul's net was voted goal of the century
That match came back in the days when top flight sides played their first team in matches and regarded the FA Cup as the biggest competition in World Football and thus we will probably never see a Giant Killing on the same scale again. More recently some Premier League sides have treated the competition as a chance to give the kids some game time while the big stars have a week off. Despite this, many supporters still regard the Football Association Challenge Cup as the greatest competition in the world and are very disappointed to see the end of replays. What about you? Do you love replays or loathe them? Debate your views on FA Cup Replays below in this first edition of Talking Points.
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#1 Should FA Cup Replays Be Scrapped?
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