Non-league clubs facing further financial hit as FA slash cup prize funds

Potters Bar Town made the fourth qualifying round of the FA Cup last season. Picture: DANNY LOO

Potters Bar Town made the fourth qualifying round of the FA Cup last season. Picture: DANNY LOO - Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO

Struggling football clubs have been shook by a further financial blow as the FA announced prize money for their three national cup competitions would be slashed.

Victories in the FA Cup will revert to the level they were at two years ago while the prize pot for both the FA Vase and FA Trophy will reduce by £10,000 each.

The governing body blames a £22million cut in its budget allocation brought about because of COVID-19, part of an expected £300m shortfall in total.

The reduction in the FA Cup sees a prizes go from nearly £4m to just under £2m. For the Vase and the Trophy it is a six per cent drop.

The news came following a meeting with step five and six clubs, the details of which were posted on the North West Counties Football League website.

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The meeting also saw the FA state that there would be definitely be no promotion or relegation at all between the steps.

The only movement of clubs would be to allow leagues like the Spartan South Midlands League at steps five and six to receive clubs applying to join the pyramid or those who are seeking voluntary relegation from steps three and four above.

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If there were any clubs wishing the latter, the FA said they would not be replaced by teams from step five.

The FA have also considered a variety of potential scenarios as to the resumption of the non-league game.

In their eyes, if a new season is to be played in its entirety then it must begin before November. If a full season isn’t possible, then consistent alternatives are key.

There was a suggestion that county cups and individual league cups may have to be sacrificed if the season starts in September or October and they were aware that an extension in May could be required.

They acknowledged that the FA competitions are important to clubs but said the first-round proper must start on either the first or second Saturday in November and the third round must be played on time.

This could lead to less clubs being invited to compete.

Among the options being discussed if a full league season is not possible is playing home or away once instead of both, splitting the league into two geographical divisions or splitting via a draw.

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