This season’s Emirates FA Cup will see clubs benefit from the prize fund doubling to £30.2m, and Knaresborough Town AFC are enjoying their rewarding cup adventure, ahead of their First Round Qualifying match against either Selby Town or Kendal Town on Saturday.
The new Emirates FA Cup prize fund will see winning clubs receive more than ever before and victory this weekend will see Knaresborough Town benefit from the increased prize money on offer for a third round in succession.
The North Yorkshire Non-League club, who impressively have reached the First Qualifying Round of the Emirates FA Cup for the first time in 106 years, are hoping to take a further step in to unchartered territory as they vie for a place in the Second Qualifying Round draw. As a result of the new structure, if Knaresborough Town AFC were to progress from the Extra Preliminary Round to the First Round Proper they would be awarded a total of £60,190.
The ‘Boro’ have already picked up a total of £5,140 following a 2-0 away win in the Extra Preliminary Round against Ashington and an emphatic 5-1 home victory versus Blyth AFC in the Preliminary Round. They now know that a win on Saturday will secure another £6,000 to help with their ambitious projects on and off the pitch, all of which will positively impact the club and wider community for years to come. The list of improvements they are immediately looking to make includes the construction of an additional 75-seater stand, resurfacing the car park, and general improvements to both the pitch and changing rooms.
All 368 clubs at the two earliest stages of this season’s competition were guaranteed a payment, regardless of their result. Winning clubs in the Preliminary Round last season would have collected £1,925 from the prize fund, with losers taking home nothing. But this year, winners – including Knaresborough Town AFC – received £2,890 and losing clubs received £960, making a real difference to clubs across the football pyramid.
Andy Ambler, The FA’s Director of Professional Game Relations, said: “We’re extremely pleased to have doubled this season’s Emirates FA Cup competition prize fund. With £4m now guaranteed to be distributed to Non-League clubs such as Knaresborough Town, we’re confident this increased level of investment will benefit participating clubs and their communities at every level of football across the country. I wish all clubs remaining in this year’s competition the very best of luck.”
Peter Plews, Knaresborough Town AFC’s Club Chairman, said: “There is a real buzz around the football club and local community after reaching the First Round Qualifying stage of the competition for the first time in 116 years, and we’re enjoying every minute of our Emirates FA Cup adventure. The prize money available is crucial to a club like Knaresborough Town as it allows us to make meaningful and impactful upgrades to benefit players, fans and the wider community. The fact that the competition prize fund has doubled this season gives us an additional incentive to try and progress as far as we can.”