This is one of those news releases that you’d hope would be irrelevant for Aston Villa next season, because you’d hope they’d win promotion. We’re fast learning though, the default position is now to assume we’ll be in the Championship next season and that anything else will be a bonus.
Of course, this will stay irrevelant if the club keep getting knocked out of the 3rd round of the FA Cup (three seasons on the trot at the moment), no matter who the opposition is, but here goes…
As an incentive for the teams outside of the Premier League, the EFL Clubs who progress furthest in this season’s Emirates FA Cup will earn the rewards of a new Divisional Progress Prize fund.
The EFL and The FA reached an agreement whereby a new £250,000 Progress Prize will be made to the EFL Club from each Division that goes furthest in the competition. In the event of more than one Club going out at the same stage, the prize fund will be split equally between them.
The funds have been made available partly due to the increase of prize money from the proceeds of The FA’s new broadcasting agreements.
EFL Chief Executive, Shaun Harvey said: “The financial rewards that are earned as a result of progressing through the rounds in the Emirates FA Cup deliver a huge boost to EFL Clubs and the addition of a £250,000 divisional prize provides an even greater return that recognises a Club’s success.
“This additional fund, agreed with both The FA and Premier League, demonstrates further our commitment to securing the maximum financial contribution for our Clubs.”
At the start of the season the competition’s prize fund doubled to £30.2m, although it doesn’t seem to have the desired effect yet of making all teams take the tournament more serious again.
Still, certainly for the top performing FA Cup teams in Leagues One and Two, the divisional prize will no doubt be a welcome one.