FA Powerbroker Dismisses FA Cup Revamp As ‘Nonsense’

Wembley committee members set to go head-to-head with Premier League chairmen over controversial scrappage of replays.

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Controversial plans to revamp the FA Cup look dead after a senior committee member described them as ‘nonsense’.

The ideas to resurrect football’s oldest cup competition were put forward by new FA chairman David Bernstein.

They include switching the final’s kick-off time from 3pm Saturday to 5.30pm from 2012, making it a midweek competition and abandoning replays.

But FA vice-president Barry Taylor, a former chairman and current member of the FA Cup committee, says the 18 clubs he represents want the tournament to keep its current structure – especially replays – with no seeding or regionalisation.

Sunday’s high-drama of Leyton Orient grabbing a draw to take Arsenal back to the Emirates for a fifth-round replay was the best advertisement for not tampering with the competition.

“The FA should remain strong and resolute and not let other people mess around with the unique FA Cup,” Taylor said to the Daily Mail.

“Most of the suggestions I have seen are nonsense. The FA Cup is about football for the whole country, not just for a certain few.”

But this view could set him on a collision course with some Premier League chairmen who view the FA Cup as an unwanted distraction.

West Ham co-owner David Gold was the Premier League chief most strongly in favour of scrapping replays when the top-flight clubs discussed revamping the competition at their last summit.

Some Football League clubs survive on the money gained from a cup run. Leyton Orient’s run will gross an estimated £1million for the club.

Barnet chairman Tony Kleanthous told the FA Cup delegation the only way lower-league clubs would accept replays disappearing was if rules ensured the big sides played their strongest teams in the tournament.

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