It’s the oldest football competition in the world, and with both the men’s and women’s FA Cup finals being held this month, it’s certainly a great time for football. Sportsister decided to have a look at how the two events compare.
When and where?
Women – Arsenal v Leeds United, Monday 5th May 2008 at 1pm, The City Ground, Nottingham Forest FC
Men - Cardiff City v Portsmouth, Saturday 17th May 2008 at 3pm, Wembley Stadium, London
What’s up for grabs?
Women – Prize money for winning team is £5,000. The losing finalists receive £1,000.
Men – Winning teams get £1,000,000 paid by the FA. The losing team also gets £1,000,000 prize money. The winning team also qualifies for a place in the first round of the UEFA Cup.
Women – Broadcast live on BBC1 for the seventh consecutive season, also on Sky1, Radio 5 Live, and will be reported by several national newspapers. From 2009 it will also be broadcast on ITV1.
Men – Broadcast live on BBC1, ITV1, Setanta Sports, Sky1, Radio 5 Live, and will be reported in all the national newspapers.
Women – Sponsored by E.ON until 2010. Supported by Nottingham City Council and the East Midlands Development Agency, in addition to the FA and E.ON.
Men – Sponsored by E.ON until 2010. The total investment will be £15,000,000 over the whole tournament. Supported by Carlsberg, Umbro and National Express, in addition to the FA and E.ON.
Women – £5 for adults, £2.50 for conssesions. Group bookings are £1 per ticket for 15 people or more. The Nottingham Forest FC ticket hotline is 0871 226 1980.
Men – Tickets are priced at £95, £80, £60, £35. Children (16 and under) and over-60′s get a £10 reduction on all tickets. Tickets are all sold out.
Women – At least 147 women’s clubs entered the FA Cup this year. 81 of these got automatic entry and did not have to play in the qualifying rounds.
Men – 731 Men’s clubs enter the FA Cup.
Women – In recent years Arsenal have been the team to beat and if they win this year they will top the list with 9 wins. They currently sit tied with Southampton who dominated the 1970′s.
Men – Manchester United are the most successful men’s team with 11 wins and 7 runners up trophies.
When it all began
Women – The first ever women’s football Cup was in 1970-71 and was then called the Women’s Football Association Mitre Challenge Trophy.
Men – The equivalent Men’s FA Cup final was first played at the Kennington Oval cricket ground in 1872.
Women – Last year’s cup final saw record attendance figures of 24,529. This topped the previous record of 13,824 in 2001 at Selhurst Park. The attendance for last year’s Women’s FA Cup Final was greater than the crowds at two men’s Premiership matches and seven men’s Championship matches on the same weekend.
Men – The new Wembley Stadium holds 90,000 people for football matches. It’s sure to be a capacity crowd. 25,000 tickets have been allocated to each of the two teams playing for their fans. The rest will be distributed by the FA to, among others, VIP’s and corporate packages.
From 1914 until 1922 women’s football was very popular and a true rival to the men’s game. One match featuring a ladies team from Preston, played at Goodison Park in Liverpool on Boxing Day 1920 and attracted crowds of 53,000. It was reported that another 10-15,000 people were turned away because the ground was full. In 1922 the FA banned women’s football from being played on their affiliated grounds and this ban lasted for 40 years – hence the decline in popularity of women’s football. Are things slowly turning for the women’s game?
David Tabor, Sportsister
The Women’s Sports Magazine