SFA chief executive Ian Maxwell says there are no plans to scrap Scottish Cup replays, in news that must be seen as a positive for Celtic.

Neil Lennon’s men have won Scotland’s leading cup competition in each of the last three seasons – and haven’t even been taken to a replay in that time.

But return games have been an issue for many British clubs recently, with Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola calling for English football to scrap them just last month. (BBC)

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Guardiola is against replays

Guardiola is against replays (Photo by LINDSEY PARNABY/AFP via Getty Images)

But Maxwell doesn’t see any similar calls north of the border as he explained how getting rid of them wouldn’t substantially ease fixture congestion.

“We can have the debate about replays,” he told the Scottish Sun.

“Some people like them and some don’t.

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“It might clear up one or two midweeks, but it’s not going to fundamentally change anything.

Maxwell speaks to press

Maxwell speaks to press (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

“It’s not going to alleviate the fixture congestion.”

Maxwell comments on replays are good for Celtic

While some Celtic fans may ponder the positives of losing Scottish Cup replays for good, it’s important to look at the full picture.


First of all, and this is a cocky point, we don’t really need them at all.

It’s five years since Celtic were last taken to a replay – against Dundee United in Ronny Deila’s first season.

So they’ve not caused us one extra game in the past four and a bit seasons.

The Scottish Cup in Celtic hands

The Scottish Cup in Celtic hands (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images)

Secondly, you would assume that replays actually advantage bigger teams overall.

While there’s no data to support this claim, it is fair to assume that there would be more shocks if cup ties were played on a one off basis.

Having replays allows bigger sides to have an off day, still secure a draw, and then finish the job in the return clash.

Oh, and it keeps the traditional of the cup. And who doesn’t want that?

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