Football for good:

Equal FA Cup Campaign


black pie chart

Men's prize money

black pie chart

Women's prize money

The FA Cup is one of the world’s most famous sporting competitions. But after 150 years, is it time for a reboot?

The Problem

Football is perceived as wealthy. However, this wealth is concentrated in the highest tier of men’s football, not across the whole football ecosystem of men’s and women’s football.

Fans and clubs want to see this wealth 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 they want the opportunity to earn more revenues for themselves.

In the FA Cup, prize money is so low for women’s teams that participation actually leads to them LOSING money, as costs exceed prizes offered. And for men’s non-league and lower league teams, though not as bad, the prize funds available in the early stages of the competition are also very low.

The total FA Cup fund for the men’s competition is around £16m. For women, it’s about £430,000. This is an imbalance that needs to end. This huge disparity now stands out amongst the world’s major sporting competitions, most of which now allocate prize money equally.

FA Cup prize money mostly goes to those who need it the least. The final three rounds of the men’s competition are allocated 45% of the entire prize pot. And invariably that money is won by Premier League teams. Indeed, they typically receive 67% of the entire prize fund.

So, shall we fix it? Once and For All?

Click to see how YOUR team would be affected?

The Solution:

Lewes FC has devised two possible models of prize redistribution, to fairly reward women’s teams and men’s lower league & non-league too. To make the FA Cup truly ‘For All’.

Reallocation

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. Increase in the prize funds in the earlier rounds of the men’s FA Cup, and across the entire women’s FA Cup.

Transformation

An injection of thousands of pounds to women’s clubs and men’s non-league teams 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.

Transparency

Wouldn't it make sense for fans and clubs to see exactly HOW the prize funds for the FA Cup are decided? A transparent and consistent formula for allocating prize funds will bring stability of planning for the FA and greatly increase trust from fans and clubs alike.

Restitution

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.

Lewes FC has identified two possible routes for a fair reallocation:

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.

Or, EQUITY: Full 50/50 allocation of the prize fund between the women’s and men’s FA Cup.

Both routes also have an element of ‘weighting’ by Round to maintain the traditional increases in prize money to reward progression through the competitions. And both routes would still see men’s non-League and lower league clubs financially better off too.

The PPF route would fix things from now on. But the 50/50 route would see women’s teams getting more than men’s teams (as around three times as many men’s teams than women’s would share the same total) in order to boost investment into the women’s game so it could regain lost ground more quickly.

You can download working spreadsheets for each of these and have a play changing weightings and win/lose allocations: Enjoy!

1. Equal redistribution by fixture: PPF

(Equal Prize Per Fixture)

2. Equal redistribution men/women: 50/50

(Total prize fund split between men's/women's competitions)

Equal redistribution Equal redistribution Equal redistribution

Here’s what we believe our two solutions 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.

Equal redistribution
Fan

"Had Coventry United’s FA Cup run, of which we’re 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 be in real time ensuring players have access to the right equipment and enabled us to bring more players through from amateur levels into full time professional football."

Lewis Taylor - CEO
Fan

“This last season 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 mean that we would be able to provide 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

Which solution
do you prefer?

Take part in our poll:

Do you have a question?
VoteResults
Lewes Community Football Club — How can you help? Spread the word

How can you help? Spread the word

Write to your local MP

The recent Fan-Led Review of Football Governance, chaired by Tracey Crouch MP, demonstrated that politicians are now very much engaged in the future of football, men’s and women’s. There will be many voices inside the FA who are sympathetic to the calls for equal prize money in the FA Cup. Indeed, it was recently announced that the women’s competition would receive a ‘significant’ boost in prize money. But this is unlikely to get us to a fully equitable distribution and, understandably, some in the FA may be questioning if clubs and fans want that to be the new path for the FA Cup. So, by promoting and backing these worked-through solutions 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.

Copy text below.

Share on social

This is a campaign that needs YOUR voice and your network of friends. Please download and spread widely the graphics at the bottom of this page; download the spreadsheet and PDFs with the detailed numbers. Let’s spark a debate and see where we get to. Use the hashtag #EqualFACup.

This FA Cup prize disparity has gone on too long and It’s About Bloody Time we fixed it. Thank you.

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