THE FA have announced big changes to the FA Cup starting next season after reaching an agreement with the Premier League.

Replays will be scrapped from the first round proper onwards, meaning Cherries will no longer face the proposition of facing two games in order to advance.

The current format saw replays scrapped from the fifth round onwards, that stage of the competition hosted in midweek in recent years.

However, FA Cup rounds will now all be scheduled for weekends – although TV selections can see fourth round games staged from Friday to Wednesday “to allow fans to watch consecutive days of Emirates FA Cup football” according to the FA.

The fourth and fifth rounds will join the third rounds in being exclusive of Premier League fixtures, avoiding clashes between league campaigns and cup runs.

Premier League games will also not be staged on the same Saturday as the FA Cup final at Wembley, which will take place the week before the final games of the Premier League season.

Fixtures will also not be scheduled on the Friday immediately before the final in order to “allow focus on the build-up to the showpiece event.”

As a Premier League club, AFC Bournemouth will continue to enter at the third round stage.

The agreement will be in situ for at least the next six years, with the Premier League also agreeing to provide an extra £33million in funding to grassroots causes.

That brings the total amount of funding up to £133million.

FA CEO Mark Bullingham commented: "The Emirates FA Cup is our biggest asset and generates over 60 per cent of our revenue to invest into the game, so it is critical to secure a strong format for the future.

"This new agreement between the FA and the Premier League strengthens the Emirates FA Cup and gives this very special tournament exclusive weekends in an increasingly busy calendar.”