When I was young, the FA cup was a massive thing for me and my friends. We would watch matches which our local teams were a part of and our nails would be well bitten FA Cup Prize Money explained
by the end. Winning the cup was a special thing for a team, whether the winning team was top or bottom of the old first division. Nowadays the magic seems to have well and truly gone. The Champions League, and Premier league cups still command respect, and managers who win them are allowed to continue in their jobs. The FA cup however is deemed as a second tier trophy, by the bigger clubs at least. I find this a sad state of affairs. Wembley is a fantastic stage to hold the final in. There never used to be any trouble in filling it. In 2011 there was talk that the final had not even sold out in some corners of the press. Whether or not this is true, the thought of it being the case is something that would have been deemed unthinkable twenty years ago. So what should we do? Should we let it go and let clubs fight over premier league money, and of course European glories? I put forward two different ideas that could help save the FA cup from obscurity.
1. The FA should take some of the money that is used to pay out clubs at the end of the season in the Premier League, and offer it as prizes to clubs who finish up in the semi finals, and of course the finals. Taking £1,000000 out of the money for each club would result in a pot of over £20,000000 that could be used as prize money. I think this would inspire many of the clubs to take the competition more seriously, when their financial future could end up being changed through millions of pounds of prize money. Smaller clubs winning the cup would also then benefit more than they would ordinarily. As football is a business nowadays I could see clubs wanting to win a whole lot more than they do at the moment.
2. This idea has been mentioned before by various football pundits, but I think it is a brilliant idea. The fourth champions league spot should be removed from the league, and instead awarded to the FA cup winners. Again it would make good business for all clubs to take a competition seriously where there is a chance to play in the top European club competition, and make all those millions of pounds. I would not see a problem in smaller clubs who win the cup being able to play on the biggest football stage in Europe, it may well offer them abilities to grow as a club and a business. Smaller clubs would have a better opportunity of enjoying the bigger sums of money than just relying on being able to come fourth or above in the league.
Both these ideas play to the hearts of the directors who are hungry to make as much money as possible. Large and small clubs would end up benefiting from better opportunities to grow and increase profits. This would all be done whilst restoring the FA cup to its prior importance and glory.