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Premier League and The FA agree to increase support for grassroots game and strengthen FA Cup format


The Premier League and The Football Association (The FA) have today announced an agreement that will increase funding to the football pyramid.

The League will provide up to £133million per season from the 2025/26 season, maintaining existing commitments and enhancing support to key areas of the game. The Premier League currently gives away £1.6billion every three years – 16 per cent of its total revenues – to all levels of men’s and women’s football, and this new money will provide significant support to a range of areas as the game continues to grow.

This commitment will see increased investment to both the Football Foundation and Premier League Stadium Fund to develop facilities at lower league clubs, improving the playing and spectator experience, as well as clubs’ financial sustainability. The funding will also create more opportunities for people with a disability to play football, and support the ongoing development of the girls’ game.

“The Premier League is proud of the investment it provides to all levels of the game and this new agreement with The FA will see us enhance our support into grassroots football”

It will also enable the leagues in the men’s and women’s football pyramid to continue to develop, in line with The FA’s new National League System Strategy. The Premier League currently provides similar support within the women’s game through an existing £21million investment.

Premier League Chief Executive, Richard Masters, said: “The Premier League is proud of the investment it provides to all levels of the game and this new agreement with The FA will see us enhance our support into grassroots football. This will improve facilities for communities and lower league clubs across the country, through the Football Foundation and Premier League Stadium Fund.”

New calendar windows for FA Cup

Separately, 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.

The agreement, which is for a minimum of six years, starts next season. All rounds of the Emirates FA Cup will now be played on weekends, including the Fifth Round which has been played in midweek for the last five seasons. The Fourth and Fifth Rounds and the Quarter Finals all will be exclusive of Premier League fixtures for the first time, and the Fourth Round will have an extended window from Friday to Wednesday to allow fans to watch consecutive days of Emirates FA Cup football.

From the First Round, the competition will be played without replays. The current format, which has no replays from the Fifth Round onwards, has been extended throughout the “Competition Proper” in light of changes to the calendar driven by the expanded UEFA competitions. 

FA Cup final moves date

The Emirates FA Cup Final will now take place on the penultimate weekend of the Premier League season, on an exclusive Saturday with no Premier League fixtures taking place on the same day. Additionally, there will be no Premier League games on the Friday night before the final, to allow focus on the build-up to the showpiece event. 

FA Chief Executive, Mark Bullingham, commented: “The Emirates FA Cup is our biggest asset and generates over 60% of our revenue to invest into the game, so it is critical to secure a strong format for the future. This new agreement between The FA and the Premier League strengthens the Emirates FA Cup and gives this very special tournament exclusive weekends in an increasingly busy calendar. The new schedule ensures the magic of the cup is protected and enhanced, whilst working for the whole of the English game. The longer summer period also allows a much-needed player break before the start of the next season. We have also agreed new funding for the grassroots game, disability football, and the Women’s and Girls’ game. All football begins at the grassroots, and this is recognised by the Premier League with very welcome additional financial support.”

Masters added: “Throughout our discussions both parties have been committed to enhancing the scheduling of the Emirates FA Cup, a hugely important domestic competition with a storied history. The FA and the Premier League have worked in partnership to deliver more exclusive weekends without compromising the excitement of knockout football and this has been achieved at the same time as allowing us to ease fixture congestion generally.”

The first year of the new format for the Emirates FA Cup forms part of the overall calendar which has been approved by the Professional Game Board [The FA, Premier League, EFL]. The new schedule also allows the late May Bank Holiday weekend to be ringfenced for the EFL Play-Off finals at Wembley Stadium connected by EE. 

Mid-season player break removed

The 2024/25 FA Community Shield will take place on Saturday 10 August 2024, the Saturday before the start of the Premier League season. 

The mid-season break is removed from the calendar to allow a mid-August start date for the Premier League. This longer summer break allows all Premier League clubs to be better able to ensure that players get a consecutive three-week break in the summer. This takes into account expert advice from medical and technical departments, which values a longer period of complete rest in the summer rather than a short break in the winter.

The agreement has been approved by the FA Board and the Premier League Board and shareholders. 



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