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04th Dec 2023

Jeff Stelling calls for completely new FA Cup format

Callum Boyle

Jeff Stelling

It could well divide some opinion

Jeff Stelling has called for a revamp of the FA Cup and has even proposed a brand new format.

The FA Cup draw provided some tasty ties that include Arsenal vs Liverpool and Sunderland vs Newcastle in what will be a lively local derby.

But while we all get excited about some potential cup upsets, Stelling wasn’t impressed and called for lower league clubs to be seeded so that they can receive more money from the competition.

Speaking on his brand new TalkSPORT breakfast show, he said: “I’m not interested in Arsenal against Liverpool in the FA Cup, I see it in the Premier League, not interested at all.

“What worries me is some of the smaller teams who get through to this stage. You look at Eastleigh and Maidstone, they played five games to get to this stage and they are looking for a bumper payday.

“And what happens? They get a rotten draw. No chance of TV coverage by the way, no chance of a big payday.

“What they need to do is seed the third round draw of the FA Cup. For goodness sake, it is not too difficult.”

Stelling then outlined how the draw would work, explaining: “We have got 20 teams who qualify. They’ve come through round one and round two and all the qualifying rounds before that. 

“You pick them out of the bag, home or away, and then you put the rest of the teams from the Premier League and Championship, all 44 of them, and you pick out 20 of those teams and they will play the lower league sides.

“So every lower league team gets a bumper payday in the third round, they might get TV as well.

“And there’s 24 teams left over from the Premier League and Championship. You can still get Arsenal against Liverpool if that’s what you really want.

“But what you really want is for lower league and non-league sides to have their moment in the sun, to have their big pay-day. Because at the end of the day, the big clubs are only there because of the grassroots clubs.”

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