Men's prize money
Women's prize money
The FA Cup still undervalues the women's game, and smaller clubs.
FA Cup prize money goes disproportionately to men’s football. Of the total £26m prize fund allocated by the FA, £20m goes to the men’s FA Cup and still, just £6m to the women’s – that’s a 77%/23% split. Till November 2023, it was just £3m. On the one hand, there is some progress, but, on the other… only EQUAL prize money will be enough. This huge disparity continues to be a gaping eyesore amongst the world’s major sporting competitions, most of which now allocate prize money equally. Even FIFA, hardly a pioneer of gender equality, have announced that they intend to give EQUAL prize money from 2027 to the Women’s and Men’s World Cups.
FA Cup prize money still mostly goes to those who need it the least. The share of the total prize money in the men’s competition that is allocated to the final three rounds stands at 40%. How can that be right? And invariably that money is won by Premier League teams. Indeed, they typically receive 67% of the entire prize fund. And the latest change to the women’s prize fund mean that now 54% of their prize fund is held back for the Fourth Round onwards, when WSL teams enter. By only boosting prize money in the Women’s FA Cup from the 3rd Round onwards (where Women’s Championship teams enter), it feels like we are simply repeating the bias within the men’s game to the ‘top’ teams. Last year, just 9 teams outside the WSL/Championship went further than the 3rd Round.
Fans and clubs want to see prize money more fairly distributed to further support not just women’s football but also men’s lower league and non-league football. Both are struggling financially. Grants are welcome, but clubs want the opportunity to earn more revenues for themselves.
Lewes FC has been campaigning for an Equal FA Cup since 2019. There has been progress, but still no equality. It’s 2023. Have YOU had enough of this now. We certainly have.
Let’s stop mucking about at the edges and, to quote the FA’s slogan, fix it once and For All, NOW. #EqualFACupClick to see how YOUR team would be affected
Prize Per Fixture:
A transparent model of prize distribution, where the total prize fund is divided by the total number of fixtures, and that amount weighted by Cup Round.
No need to increase the total FA Cup prize fund, just treat it as one pot and ensure that it is distributed in a way that maximizes revenue opportunities for women’s teams and men’s lower and non-league clubs. Weighting creates an increase in the prize funds in the earlier rounds of the men’s FA Cup, and across the entire women’s FA Cup. But it's still a case of the further you go in the competition, the more you win.
This naturally creates an injection of thousands of pounds to women’s clubs and men’s non-league teams that will make a huge difference to the money they can invest in infrastructure and developing their players. This will greatly accelerate the growth of the women’s game and give added financial protection to men’s clubs.
Wouldn't it make sense for fans and clubs to see exactly HOW the prize funds for the FA Cup are decided? Prize Per Fixture introduces a transparent and consistent formula for allocating prize funds that will bring stability of planning for the FA and greatly increase trust from fans and clubs alike.
Women’s football was banned by the FA between 1921 and 1971. At the time of the ban, bigger crowds attended women’s games than men’s games. The ban robbed women’s football of at least 50 years of development and saw all the cultural attention and economic rewards go to men’s football.
How Prize Per Fixture works
EQUALITY: Equal Prize fund Per fixture (PPF), so whether you are a men’s or women’s team in your respective Cup round, you know that winning (or losing) that match will earn you the same. Working with the current total FA Cup prize Fund (men + women), we have worked this figure out to £21,774 per fixture.
To this there is added an element of ‘weighting’ by Round to maintain the traditional increases in prize money to reward progression through the competitions. But the weightings have been set to see men’s non-League and lower league clubs financially better off too.
You'll see on the downloadable spreadsheet and PDF the weightings we have applied to each Round and also the 75/25 split we have used for winners/losers in each Round. The spreadsheet allows you to play about with both of these factors to create different outcomes too.
Download the working spreadsheet or PDF to see details of the Round-by-Round prize fund allocations.
Equal redistribution by fixture: PPF
(Equal Prize Per Fixture)
Here’s what we believe our solution will achieve:
Fairer distribution of prize money reflecting the FA’s ‘For All’ remit.
Transformational sums of money going to women’s and non-league clubs, accelerating club & player development.
Creating an FA Cup that will be a beacon for equity and fairness in sport worldwide.
Signalling to fans and clubs that English football wants to be the leader when it comes to gender equality and not follow.
Inspiration for thousands of female footballers that they matter and their future is taken seriously.
“A couple of seasons ago we had a really good FA Cup run which saw us get to the second round proper, further than we've ever been before. We got just over £2k in winnings. So, when Lewes pointed out to me that under their PPF system we would have won nearly £50k, that's just mind blowing and what that means for us as a club, with annual operating costs of around £15k. It would have meant that we could have provided a lot more in terms of coaching, numbers of coaches, and put on different teams. There are so many more girls looking to get into football locally and we just don't have the opportunity to provide them with the teams and the support, equipment & facilities.”Lee Martin - Chairman, Netherton United
"Had Coventry United’s FA Cup run, of which we were very proud, achieved the kind of winnings proposed by Lewes FC, this could have funded the club for around 1/3 of a season. The impact would have been in real time ensuring players had access to the right equipment and enabled us to bring more players through from amateur levels into full time professional football." (Upon relegation from the Championship, Coventry United moved to become Rugby Borough.)Lewis Taylor - then CEO
(Coventry United have since been relegated from the Barclays Women's Championship and have now moved the team to Rugby and rebranded as Rugby Borough).
How can you help? Spread the word
Write to your local MP
The Government Review of Women’s Football, led by Karen Carney, recommended a move to EQUAL PRIZE MONEY. There will be many voices inside the FA who are sympathetic to these calls. But it feels like we are still some way from achieving a fully equitable distribution. Perhaps some in the FA may be questioning if clubs and fans want equality to be the new path for the FA Cup. So, by promoting and backing this worked-through solution for a full reallocation, you will enable the MPs and the FA to gauge the support for this move. We’ve written a sample text that you can copy/paste, to send to your local MP, but of course, you can personalise this how you want.