Don’t kill our FA Cup, warns Pulis

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Stoke boss Tony Pulis fears the Football Association is in danger of killing the world’s greatest cup competition if they continue to tinker with it too much.

At present there is talk of scrapping replays and the introduction of seedings, potentially for the 2012-13 season onwards, both ideas Stoke chairman Peter Coates voiced his opposition to this week.

Coates is firmly supported by Pulis, who has also expressed his own displeasure at the way the fixtures have been spread this season as witnessed this weekend with fourth-round replays among fifth-round ties.

Throw in the fact the final itself this year is on the penultimate Saturday of the season, kicking off at 5.30pm following a host of Premier League games, and Pulis is far from happy.

The latter is likely a one-off given the Champions League final is at Wembley this year, with UEFA rules stating no match can be played at a final venue over the two preceding weeks.

Pulis, whose side take on npower League One leaders Brighton at the Britannia Stadium today in a fifth-round tie, believes the way the FA Cup has gone this season, and could go in the future, is all part of further pandering to the needs of the big clubs.

“Everything is going towards what the big clubs want. They are dictating the way football is run in England, and we have to accept that,” said Pulis.

“But the FA Cup has dropped down in priorities, and they’ll kill it if they mess around with it too much.”