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FA Cup


Bradford cash boost from cup run

Even before yesterday's spectacular victory over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, Bradford City had already benefitted from their cup run to the tune of £1m.  That has wiped out this year's deficit, part of which they had hoped to come from a sell on fee had Tom Cleverly's move to Aston Villa had been made permanent.

Big payday for Cambridge United

Cambridge United could look forward to a big boost to their revenues even if they had lost last night's FA Cup game against Manchester United.   Fans who wanted a ticket in the just under 8,000 capacity stadium were obliged to buy a half year season ticket if they were not already season ticket holders.

Top clubs boost Cup attendances

The average attendance at FA Cup matches from the first round to the quarter finals was 11,818 over the last decade compared to 11,398 between 1994 and 2004.   Does that mean that the 'magic of the Cup' has not gone away?   In fact, it seems largely down to top clubs building bigger stadiums.

FA broadcasting income takes hit

The collapse of the Irish broadcaster Setanta had long-run implications for the income of the Football Association.   It then had to negotiate a deal with ITV and ESPN who were able to beat it down on price. As a consequence, there was a £34m decline in broadcasting income last season and operating profit fell from £50m to £28m.

Has Arsenal got talent?

Last night's edition of Britain's Got Talent was delayed while Arsenal completed their penalty kicks victory over Wigan Athletic in the FA Cup semi-final.   However, a question that may have been going through the minds of some could have been has Arsenal got enough talented players?   And has Arsene Wenger lost his magic touch?

Cup attendances levelled off

Overall FA Cup crowd sizes across all rounds have remained fairly steady since falling during the 1980s. Attendances throughout the leagues have risen in that period.

Of the 57 matches played in the third and fourth round this season, including replays, only one quarter (14) attracted attendances higher than the home team's average league figure this season.

Admittedly, the third round (before replays) this year produced the highest average attendances since 1979-80, yet this largely reflected the number of well-supported teams playing at home.

Cup not about the money

The financial rewards of the FA Cup with Budweiser are limited, certainly at this stage of the competition.

When Rochdale played Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday they had a police bill of around £30,000. With 45 per cent of the gate receipts, they will make around £35,000.

If the game had been televised, they would have got an extra £144,000. However, the televised games tend to be those involving the clubs with the biggest number of fans. If they had won, they would have received £90,000.

Cup can be a distraction or a lifeline

For football clubs the FA Cup can be an unwelcome distraction or a lifeline. Wigan's FA Cup success last year was worth £4m to the club in prize money and gate receipts - before bonus payments are taken into account. The subsequent Europa League run brought in a further £2 million.

Avoiding relegation last season would have been worth at least £63m if Wigan had finished bottom of the Barclays Premier League. But then they might have got relegated anyway if they had not won the cup and they have something to remember.

Cup is a distraction says Villa boss

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert believes the majority of top-flight clubs would rather not have the distraction of the FA Cup.

Lambert was asked whether the FA Cup was something Premier League clubs could do without. 'I think if you asked the majority of them, if they were being honest, they probably would do,' he told BBC WM. 'Not just because of the money but survival in the league is vital.'

BBC and BT win FA Cup rights

BT Group's new TV service has won a joint bid with the BBC to screen FA Cup football matches in the UK up to 2018. The winning bids are estimated to have cost close to £50m a year.

BT sports has exclusive rights to show 25 live matches annually, with the BBC gaining exclusive coverage of 16 games a year. The broadcasters had competed against a joint bid from BSkyB and ITV. However, ITV has found the FA Cup a less attractive means of pulling in advertisers than some other sports coverage.