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Erik ten Hag slams “inevitable” change that fans hate, says two figures are at fault



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Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has echoed the opinion of many football fans following the latest changes to the FA Cup.

The Football Association has recently confirmed that all FA Cup replays will be scrapped from the first round of the competition after the conclusion of this campaign.

Another change was that the Wembley final will no longer be the final domestic game of the season. The new final date will be before the last round of Premier League fixtures.

However, it has been the change to FA Cup replays that has angered many fans, particularly the supporters of lower league clubs who can be greatly impacted by taking a larger club to a replay in the cup.

United boss Ten Hag has admitted that it is a “sad” change for the country but explains that the decision was “inevitable” due to the overload in top-level football that is dictated by two parties.

“It’s very sad for the British football culture, but I think it is also inevitable,” Ten Hag told reporters.

“No one can do anything for it. It’s due to the overload in the schedule that’s dictated by FIFA and UEFA, and it is part of UEFA.

“We are a big competition, we have a big influence and a big impact, but FIFA and UEFA, there are so many other countries, and there is so much overload on the players, and it has to stop.

“As I said, I feel really sad for the clubs in football, but for top players, make some space in the schedule.”

Following the backlash from many supporters, clubs and managers, the FA released a statement backing their decision.

They wrote: “Removing Emirates FA Cup replays was discussed in the early meetings and all parties accepted that they could not continue. The discussions then focused on how to make all of our competitions stronger, despite having fewer dates available and wanting to maintain player welfare.

“We understand the concerns expressed over the last 24 hours, and we will be sharing more details with clubs very shortly to explain the additional revenue opportunities in the early rounds.”

United will face Coventry City in the semi-final of the competition on Sunday afternoon, with the winner facing Manchester City in the final next month.