Bring back Adam Crozier
by Hardy on 30/06/2003
When Adam Crozier was sacrificed by the FA for opposing the Premiership's money men, it was obvious what was coming next. The 2003/04 FA Cup Prize Fund shows how the FA now regard the lower leagues. Hardy looks at what it all means.
Come back Adam Crozier
Adam Crozier (right, c Mike Hewitt/Getty Images) was forced out of the role of
FA Chief Executive at the end of October 2002 the reason stated was his
"autocratic style". The real reason was money, of course, the driver of
everything in football these days.|
Crozier was appointed to modernise the FA and one of his big changes was to
spread the FA's income from the FA Cup more fairly, introducing a prize money
system which allowed the vast income generated by the competition to be shared by all
the clubs playing in it. Under the scheme pushed through by Crozier, clubs
winning in the Preliminary round won £1,000, and clubs winning into the
competition proper from the 4th Qualifying round won £20,000.
At the same time, prizes for the top clubs were vast, with the winners taking
£2,000,000 and runners-up £1,000,000 plus guaranteed TV appearance money.
The scheme was only in place one season though as Crozier was sacrificed to
the Premiership clubs ambitions, led by one of the usual suspects, Chelsea Chairman Ken
Bates. The Daily Telegraph's summation of
Crozier's downfall can be found here.
The FA announced the new structure of the prize fund for the coming season's
FA Cup on the 23rd June, and surprise, surprise, it is the early rounds that are
FA Cup 2003/04
new prize fund is detailed here.
Comparing this with last season's, the fund in total has been reduced by a total
of £1,964,750, all that money being saved by reducing the payments for
progressing in the competition in rounds up to the 2nd round proper, therefore
affecting only clubs in non-league and divisions two and three.
Prizes for later rounds, in the 3rd round onward, remain the same. The 3rd
round is, of course, the point in the competition that Mr Bates club enters the fray.
Here is what that this means in practical
terms is that a team like the Daggers. Last season they made £120,000 in prize
money from reaching the 4th round. The four round wins made £20,000, £20,000,
£30,000 and £50,000. The same run next season would make £87,500 (£10,000,
£12,500, £15,000 and £50,000). This is a reduction of 27%.
realistically though, a run to the third round, which is still
superb for a non-league team, would make £37,500 next season compared to £70,000
last. This is a cut of £32,500 or 46.5%.
The payments for televised matches
in rounds one and two is also reduced by 50% to £50,000 per team as well,
further limiting the opportunities for the same clubs effected by the reduction
in prize money in these rounds.
The right to reply
My co-webmaster, Nelson, was incensed enough by this to write to the FA on the
subject. On the 26th June he wrote:
I see the FA have lived up to their name yet again and done precisely nothing to
help the lower level of English football that it claims to protect.
Please can you explain to me how you can possibly justify reducing the prize
money and television pool for the early rounds of the FA cup by such a massive
amount and yet keep the later rounds' figures the same?
The FA Cup is a great opportunity for the smaller teams, including my club, to
get one over on the "big guns" by pulling off a shock result. It is
the early rounds that provide the best entertainment and drama. Some of the most
memorable matches of recent times have been the giant killings and near shocks
provided by the Division 3 and non-league sides over their more illustrious
opponents. For many of these clubs, a win in the First Round proper is as far as
they can realistically hope to get and the £7,500 of which they have now been
deprived is a massive amount of money - For many clubs, that is a year's wages
for one or two players! In contrast, a Club such as Liverpool, Manchester United
or Newcastle United winning their Fourth Round tie Nets them exactly the same £75,000
that it would have earned them last season - You could have reduced that by £20,000
and the big clubs would barely have noticed.
Why do the FA persist in claiming to support Grass Roots football and yet
persist in giving it the rawest deal it can get away with?
The FA replied on the 27th, quick enough to make it probably a stock reply.
The FA at their annual summer FA Council meeting in Torquay on Saturday
21st June, confirmed a number of changes to the prize funds of FA competitions
for season 2003/04.
Prize funds from the First Round Qualifying Round of The FA Cup, through to the
Second Round proper have been regrettably reduced as part of the wide-ranging
budget cuts that The FA have been making over the past six months.
In season 2001/02, vast increases in prize money were made throughout The FA
Cup, which on average saw clubs able to win ten to twelve times the amount
previously available per round in season 2000/01; for example, a club winning a
third round qualifying tie earnt £10,000 in 2002/03, compared to just £800 in
From next season, the prize funds in the earlier rounds have been reduced, but
will still be on average five to six times what they were in season 2000/01:
using the same example, a club winning a third round qualifying tie will now
The FA are more than mindful that the clubs who will stand to most lose from
these reductions will be those below The Football League, and to offset some of
the potential losses from last season, The FA have announced that the prize
funds for the country's flagship cup competitions in non-league football are
to be boosted by more than £600,000.
The substantial increase in winnings for The FA Trophy and FA Vase in
partnership with Carlsberg, will be introduced in the 2003-04 season.
The total prize fund for The FA Trophy will increase by £406,000 from £225,000
to £631,000 and for The FA Vase will rise by £197,000 from £153,000 to £350,000.
The increase in prize money for these two competitions will ensure the status
and prestige of both competitions is maintained, and more importantly reward
clubs who progress through six or seven rounds to win one of these two
The FA Trophy and The FA Vase are the premier domestic cup competitions for
clubs outside the Football League, yet a club last season who won seven games in
The FA Vase, accrued £12,900 and in The FA Trophy, £27,850.
The new prize funds for both competitions will now better reward clubs for their
progress in these competitions, and with the new prize fund structure, last
season's winners would now receive £30,700 and £92,800 respectively.
The FA believes it has a duty to support all levels of the game, and in 2000,
became a funding partner of The Football Foundation, along with The FA Premier
League and Government.
Since the end of 2000, The Football Foundation's Football Stadia Improvement
Fund has provided over £13million to clubs in the Nationwide Conference and
below for football facility improvements, and The FA has also provided
cumulative grants of approximately £1.2million to leagues and clubs outside the
Football League, through equipment and administration support.
The FA also recognises that clubs in Divisions 2 and 3 of The Football League
may face a maximum reduction of £22, 500 through reductions in The FA Cup prize
funds at rounds 1 and 2.
However, in the past two years, The FA has been centralising a grants system to
The Football League - in partnership with The Football Foundation and The FA
Premier League - for investment in ground facilities and clubs' centres of
excellence, grants which have helped these clubs through a particularly
difficult financial period.
The grants have also helped clubs continue providing coaching, education and
social inclusion schemes for thousands of young people.
If you would like further information on the breakdown of prize funds for these
competitions, and for the early round draws of all FA competitions on Saturday
5th July, log on to www.TheFA.com
Any further questions please feel free to call me, as I would be more then
happy to discuss this matter with you.
The FA Trophy
So in a nutshell the FA are saying that because the prize fund pre-Crozier was
so poor, we should all shut up moaning and be happy with the reductions that
they have made. They are also throwing in the sop of increased prizes in their
"minor" competitions the FA Trophy and FA Vase as some kind of
compensation to the non-league game.|
This last one simply does not add up. To make the shortfall in prize money
for a trip to the third round of the FA Cup up from the FA Trophy a Conference
club would have to make it to the final. The 2003/04 prize fund for the Trophy
A run to the last four would net the Daggers £22,000, while an appearance in the final
guarantees £38,000 just about making up for the cut in the money for
getting through to the 3rd round in the FA Cup. Winning the FA Trophy, the FA's
second most prestigious knockout competition, is deemed the same value as
winning an FA Cup 3rd round game, £50,000.
the FA is short of cash at the moment despite the huge popularity of the game of
football. Of course, the major reason for this is the Wembley farce, a problem
largely of the FA's own making, and also involving the poison dwarf Ken Bates
(left, c Ben Radford/Getty Images) himself, of course.
All that said though, we can understand the need to save a little money on
the FA Cup. How about this though? Instead of affecting so many of the smaller
clubs, why not reduce the prize money to the two clubs in the final who will
already have made a fortune from their FA Cup run from TV, gate and prize money
money from earlier rounds. Also bear in mind that the losing finalists last
season, Southampton, gained a place in the UEFA cup from just reaching the cup
final last season through the fact that Arsenal qualified for the Champions
The total saved by the reductions in the FA Cup prize fund this season is £1,964,750,
all spread between the clubs in non-league and Divisions 2 and 3. Alternatively
reducing the winners prize money to say £1m and the runners up to £600,000
(from £2m and £1m) saves £1,400,000 to be spent elsewhere and effects just
two clubs, both of whom are virtually certain to have made a fortune out of
Just a thought but a waste of time though, as who is one of the clubs who
have featured in four of the last ten FA Cup finals? Why Ken Bates' Chelsea of
course (1994, 1997, 2000 & 2002).