Chester FC have hit out at changes to the FA Cup competition from next season, which will see replays scrapped.

The Football Association announced the move on Thursday, April 18, ending 150 years of tradition, as it confirmed a new agreement with the Premier League which will increase funding to the grassroots game by up to an extra £33 million per season.

Change has come as the Champions League is to be expanded from next season, with the Premier League's biggest clubs wary of fixture congestion.

But the news has had a negative reception among lower league clubs, who see FA Cup replays as an extra chance for a boost to club revenue and opportunities for supporters to enjoy potential giant-killing matches.

Fan-owned Chester FC, in the National League North, released a statement on Thursday night through the City Fans United Board, saying it was "dismayed" by the decision.

This season the club had enjoyed progression to the First Round proper, losing to York City in the replay.

The board said: "Chester Football Club is dismayed at the decision of The FA and the Premier League to change the format of The FA Cup, without consideration of the consequences their actions will have on clubs such as ours.

"The scrapping of replays from the first round proper onwards denies clubs access to much-needed revenue from gate receipts and broadcast fees, but also means supporters and players will have far fewer opportunities to create the unforgettable memories for which the competition is so revered.

"It is deeply concerning that these changes have been announced without consulting the 144 clubs who make up the English Football League and National League, nor the hundreds across the football pyramid who enter the FA Cup each season.

"This demonstrates an alarming lack of respect for the wider game and its fans, and reinforces the urgent need for a strong Independent Football Regulator.

"We urge The FA and the Premier League to listen to the concerns of clubs and supporters, suspend the changes and commence a full and proper consultation with all stakeholders."

Tranmere Rovers vice-chair Nicola Palios, writing on social media, said "protest is needed" in response to the decision, adding: "Seven hundred and twenty-nine teams compete in the FA Cup. Why is its format being dictated by the Premier League who represent circa three per cent of them? Why were EFL [English Football League] clubs not given a say? Why is the EPL even dictating whether replays are allowed in rounds they don’t participate in?"

The FA’s statement said the Professional Game Board – which includes four EFL representatives including its chairman Rick Parry – had approved the overall calendar for next season containing the changes.

FA chief executive Mark Bullingham said: "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.

"The new schedule ensures the magic of the Cup is protected and enhanced, while working for the whole of the English game."