FA Cup to trial substituting finalists

THE FA will substitute lower-league teams who reach the FA Cup final for popular clubs like Manchester United. 

Full-team substitution lets the FA remove an entire playing squad, plus coaching staff, executive and fans, from the 2017 final if they are too badly regarded by international TV audiences to play.

FA chief Martin Glenn said: “For the first time there’s no need for a showpiece Wembley final to be ruined by an unfortunate, impossible-to-predict cup run by someone like Barnsley.

“It’s so tragic seeing them writhing painfully on the turf against a proper top-six club, everyone’s day out spoiled, everyone wondering what might have been if Wenger hadn’t played the youth team in the fourth round.

“As ever, we’re acting in the good of the wider game.”

Chairmen and fans of billionaire clubs have confirmed they will continue to regard an FA Cup win as a sackable offence.