• Arsenal manager says situation ‘not healthy’ for top players
  • Spaniard highlights European leagues helping their clubs

Mikel Arteta insisted that the scrapping of FA Cup replays was necessary to “protect our players” as the EFL described the decision as further evidence that clubs lower down the pyramid were being marginalised.

The Football Association has been heavily criticised after confirming that replays after the qualifying rounds will be scrapped as part of an agreement with the Premier League on the format and funding of the competition. It is understood the decision was taken after pressure from the top six clubs in the Premier League, who are concerned about the workload on their players before the introduction of an expanded Champions League format next season.

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