FA Cup generates 650m for English football

by Mystical Mike

Friday, January 27th, 2012

Deloitte report assessing the financial impact of The FA Cup reveals: £650m earned by clubs in the past 10 years Crawley Town receive £1m pay day from single FA Cup tie

 As excitement builds ahead of The FA Cup with Budweiser Fourth Round Proper, the financial impact of the competition has been revealed in a new report by the Sports Business Group at Deloitte. The findings demonstrate that a total of almost £650m in prize money, TV payments and gate receipts have been generated by participating clubs in the ten years between 2001/02 and 2010/11. Focusing on case study clubs from five tiers of English football it highlights the substantial financial benefits for clubs at all levels of the football pyramid.

Last season’s eventual runners up Stoke City reached The FA Cup Final for the first time in their history. The Potters cup run earned them circa £3.5m, including £1.8m prize money from the Semi-Final and Final alone.

For clubs further down the football pyramid, a draw against higher league opposition provides an opportunity for a cash windfall as well as the chance to go down in history as one of the competition’s giant killers. In 2004 Millwall reached the Final, despite being outside the top flight, and whilst they lost on the pitch to Manchester United they certainly won off it. Revenues from the competition contributed to 29% of total club revenues for the season.

Last season, League One side Leyton Orient famously took Arsenal to a Fifth Round replay at the Emirates, a run that generated circa 30% of total club revenues for the year. The importance of The FA Cup’s financial impact is also highlighted by League Two side Accrington Stanley’s run to the Fourth Round in 2009/10. Reaching this stage of the competition provided the club with a cash injection of circa £150k at a time when the club faced an uncertain time due to financial difficulties.

For non-league clubs the financial impact of The FA Cup is even more important. In 2007/08 Havant and Waterlooville reached the Fourth Round, twice having led against Liverpool at Anfield before eventually losing 5-2. The Cup run earned them circa £0.6m, 70% of the club’s total estimated revenue for the year.

Last season’s giant killers elect Crawley Town earned themselves a dream Fifth Round draw at Manchester United after beating Torquay 1-0 in the previous round. The lucrative tie at Old Trafford earned the club an estimated massive  £1m pay day, two thirds of the circa £1.5m they earned during the competition.

The figures outlined in the report show how a good run in the Cup is beneficial to clubs at all levels with revenues generated through prize money, TV payments and gate receipts.  Prize money and TV payments totalled £230m over the ten year period with £24.5m paid out in 2010/11, whilst gate receipts are estimated to have exceeded £400m over the same period driven by total attendances of 22.7m.

Alex Horne, General Secretary of The FA commented: “The FA Cup is the most authentic knock-out competition in the world, every year it delivers magical moments for fans. This season we’ve already witnessed Tamworth gripped by FA Cup fever and Oldham supporters turning out in force taking 6,500 fans to their tie at Anfield. What this report reveals is the huge financial incentives for teams participating in The FA Cup. You only have to look to Crawley Town last season, who earned one million pounds from a single game against Manchester United, a truly phenomenal amount of money for a then non-league football club.”

Barry Hearn, Leyton Orient Chairman commented: “The FA Cup is the biggest Cup competition in the world. It’s a big chance for all small clubs to have their moment in the sun and get a little bit of glory, whilst the financial returns are also fantastic. It is miles ahead of everything else because of the pleasure it gives to ordinary football fans throughout the entire country, providing memories that last for generations not just for weeks.”

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