FA Cup - croppedGetty Images

FA Cup replays scrapped for 2020-21 to ease fixture burden

The Football Association has announced there will be no replays in the FA Cup next season.

With the coronavirus pandemic having led to an adjusted schedule for 2020-21, the FA has taken the decision to scrap replays in order to ease the pressure on clubs.

In a statement released on Thursday, the FA said the decision had been made "to assist in easing pressure on the football schedule and to ensure that domestic competitions can still be delivered".

Article continues below

Qualification for England's major cup competition will begin on September 1, with the first round proper taking place in November.

Premier League clubs will enter as usual in the third round, to be played in early January, with the final scheduled for May 15, 2021. Arsenal are the current holders after beating Chelsea 2-1 at Wembley earlier this month.

The fourth round has been scheduled for January 23, the fifth on February 10, with the quarter finals set for March 20 and the semis on April 17.

The FA also announced that, after record prize funds for the last two seasons, the reward money has gone back to the level it was in 2017-18, due to the financial impact of Covid-19. The winners will receive £1.8 million ($2.3m), down from £3.6m ($4.7m) last season.

It has also been announced that the Carabao Cup semi-finals, which have always been two-legged affairs, will be played over a single match in 2020-21, again to ease pressure on clubs due to the compressed schedule.

The first round of the League Cup will be played on September 5, with the final slated for February 28. Manchester City have won each of the last three finals.

The Premier League will start again on September 12, as will the Championship, League One and League Two, with the final games of the campaign on May 23, 2021. Fixtures will be revealed by August 21 for the 2020-21 season.

Players and managers are facing up to the likelihood of a frenetic and exhausting season with long periods of important matches being played in quick succession, and which will be compounded by the re-arranged European Championships next summer, which had to be rescheduled from summer 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.