2023/24 FA Cup prize money: How much winners earn and round breakdown

Alan Shearer, the Premier League’s all-time leading scorer, has made his love of the FA Cup clear.

“I would swap everything for a winner’s medal in this competition, I really would,” the Newcastle United icon gushed in 2004. “I’ve been fortunate to win a lot of individual awards but I’d swap the lot, even the championship medal I won at Blackburn.”

However, such sentiment was already out of fashion when Shearer pledged his allegiance to the world’s oldest football competition 20 years ago. “People might think I’m daft but I’m not wrong,” Shearer told the doubters. “I’d rather win the cup than the league.” (In any event, Shearer didn’t win a single major trophy at Newcastle.)

Two decades on, few fans of Premier League clubs share the same hierarchy as Shearer. Yet, that’s not to say that advancing in the FA Cup comes without any benefits. For the legion of clubs outside the top flight that define this historic competition, a deep cup run offers an incredible financial windfall.

Here’s a look at the money behind the magic of the cup.

Chelsea v Liverpool: The Emirates FA Cup FinalChelsea v Liverpool: The Emirates FA Cup Final

The winners get a replica of the FA Cup trophy and a significant sum / Matthew Ashton – AMA/GettyImages

The champions of the 143rd edition of England’s premier domestic cup competition earn a cool £2m for winning the final alone. The beaten finalists stand to take home £1m (per the Football Association).

There have been no amendments to the prize fund this year but the jackpot has taken a considerable hit since the COVID-19 pandemic. Arsenal, winners of the 2019/20 FA Cup, raked in £3.6m by winning the showpiece at an empty Wembley Stadium. As runners-up on that eery afternoon, Chelsea earned £1.8m, almost the same as Manchester City’s prize fund as champions last year.

As winners of the inaugural FA Cup in 1872, before the crossbar had been invented and the team that collected the out-of-bounds ball first took the throw-in, Wanderers earned £20 – the equivalent of less than £3,000 in today’s money.

Round

Prize money for winners

Prize money for losers

Extra preliminary

£1,125

£375

Preliminary

£1,444

£481

First round qualifying

£2,250

£750

Second round qualifying

£3,375

£1,125

Third round qualifying

£5,625

£1,875

Fourth round qualifying

£9,375

£3,125

First round proper

£41,000

£0

Second round proper

£67,000

£0

Third round proper

£105,000

£0

Fourth round proper

£120,000

£0

Fifth round proper

£225,000

£0

Quarter-final

£450,000

£0

Semi-final

£1,000,000

£500,000

Final

£2,000,000

£1,000,000

Premier League and Championship clubs don’t enter the competition until January’s third round but qualification began on the first Friday of August. That night, the aptly named ninth-tier outfit Moneyfields collected £1,125 by beating Westbury United from the division above.

In each of the five rounds of qualifying for this season’s competition, the defeated club also earn some prize money for their participation. However, the spirit of inclusion is out of the question when the tournament proper begins. It’s not until the semi-final stage that any losers again earn some cash.

Sixth-tier, semi-professional outfit Maidstone United joined the competition as early as the second qualifying round and earned £126,375 in prize money by reaching the third round proper. According to the club’s last published accounts, this season’s prize money from the FA Cup alone represents roughly 10% of United’s turnover for an entire campaign.

No side outside England’s top flight has won the FA Cup since West Ham United’s triumph from the second tier in 1980. If the pattern continues, a Premier League team entering the competition in the third round proper stands to win £3.9m in total if they hoist the famous pot aloft.

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