Hull City boss responds to controversial FA and Premier League agreement

Liam Rosenior, head coach of Hull City, has addressed the issue of the packed football calendar at the top level, including the removal of FA Cup replays.

There was a big outcry from EFL and non-league clubs this week when the FA stated that they had reached an agreement with the Premier League to eliminate replays from the first round proper beginning next season, following increased pressure from the top flight.

That decision was met with fury, as the 72 clubs in the EFL were shocked by the move, which potentially cut off a key revenue stream for lower league clubs.

and those in the non-league. This season, City went to a replay after their third-round meeting with Birmingham City finished in a 1-1 draw, and the two met again at St Andrew’s, with the Tigers losing 2-1 late.

The Tigers’ head coach, whose father, Leroy, has managed in non-league and witnessed firsthand the importance of FA Cup finances to those outside the EFL, concedes the position is tricky. However, Rosenior believes that funds must flow down the pyramid to ensure the organization’s continued success.

Hull City boss responds to controversial FA and Premier League agreement -  Hull Live

“Obviously, there have been some incredible memories with the FA Cup, particularly replays,” Rosenior told Hull Live. “When I was a kid and Ryan Giggs ran through Arsenal’s team at Villa Park and scored that goal, I was running around the front room.” The FA Cup is a truly great tournament.

“Everything evolves, and football must adapt to the times. There are many additional commitments for Premier League teams in terms of European competitions, ensuring that they represent this country. Also, my father was the manager of Gloucester City in the Southern League, so I am familiar with the pyramid. Non-league clubs rely on replays when they embark on cup runs.

“I noticed a news that replays might be eliminated, but they will also increase funding for local teams. We all want to be at the pinnacle of our respective businesses or pyramids, but the true foundation of our pyramid is our grassroots game.

“It’s the non-league game; no other country in the world has our structure, so as long as those clubs are still supported without the prospect of replays, I appreciate the concept, but it’s critical that there’s a balance on all sides of the debate.

Hull City head coach facing selection dilemma in quest to tackle Leeds  United - Hull Live

“For a manager, the winter months are particularly difficult. The Championship and Premier League are extremely difficult, not to mention

League One and League Two do not have international breaks unless three or four players are away on duty. “It’s part of the game, but what I would say is that we have to find a way. People are paying fortunes for season tickets, subscriptions, and shirts to follow clubs, you want to give the fans the best product possible.”

“If you look at the timetable of tournaments, Mika (Seri) was abroad, Adama (Traore) was away on AFCON duty, you look at the World Cup in the winter, those players had to come back and finish the season, and then they’re straight into Nations League games, then they’re straight back into a season.

“Then they have to play in the Euros.”The chances of getting the best players on the pitch fresh are diminishing, which lowers the quality of the product, because everyone wants to see the best players perform at their peak.

“So it’s a really, really difficult thing to manage, and at the moment, I do think there are too many games in the calendar for a player’s benefit, to go and perform at their maximum level.”

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