Further to the most recent guidelines issued by the Government and The FA’s subsequent announcement regarding the return to football, there is an update in relation to the 2020-21 FA Competitions and set out the following timeline.
On Monday 3 August 2020, Clubs shall be notified of the following information for each of The Emirates FA Cup, The Buildbase FA Trophy, The Buildbase FA Vase and The FA Youth Cup Competitions;
– List of Clubs accepted
– List of Clubs to receive exemption
– Competition Format
– Round Dates
– Prize Fund
The Emirates FA Cup – Step 6 Clubs to be accepted
For the 2020-21 season it is the FA’s intention to retain 736 participating Clubs in the Competition as per previous seasons. This is the maximum number of Clubs that can be accommodated in the Competition under the current structure. In total there has been 889 applications received for the 2020-21 Competition, thus meaning it is oversubscribed. In previous seasons when the Competition has been oversubscribed, acceptance into the Competition from Clubs at Step 6 of The FA National League System, who applied to enter the Competition, has been determined based on a Points Per Game average taken across all Step 6 Leagues from the preceding season. However, as all Step 6 Leagues were declared null and void, and results expunged for the 2019-20 season, draws shall be conducted for each Step 6 League to determine which Clubs at Step 6 of The FA National League system, who applied to enter the Competition, shall be accepted in the Competition.
The Emirates FA Cup – Step 3 & 4 Clubs receiving exemptions
Similar to the 2019-20 Competition, due to the current format of the Competition a number of Clubs at Step 3 and 4 of The FA National League System shall be required to enter the Competition at a different stage to other Clubs competing at the same level. For the 2020-21 season there will be 15 Clubs at Step 3 required to enter the Competition in the Preliminary Round instead of receiving exemption to the First Round Qualifying. This shall comprise of four Clubs from three of the four Step 3 Leagues, plus a further three Clubs from the other Step 3 League.
There will be 18 Clubs at Step 4 required to enter the Competition in the Extra Preliminary Round instead of receiving exemption to the Preliminary Round. This shall comprise of three Clubs from four of the Step 4 Leagues, plus two Clubs from each of the remaining Step 4 Leagues. Draws shall be conducted for each Step 3 and 4 League to determine which Clubs shall enter the Competition from the Extra Preliminary Round to the First Round Qualifying.
Competition Draws & Rules
The date for when the draws for the first two rounds and the Rules of each Competition will be available will be confirmed in the notification on Monday 3 August.
FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round: Tuesday, 1st September 2020
FA Cup Preliminary Round: Saturday, 12th September 2020
FA Cup 1st Qualifying Round: Tuesday, 22nd September 2020
FA Vase 1st Qualifying Round: Saturday, 19th September 2020
FA Vase 2nd Qualifying Round: Saturday, 10th October 2020
FA Trophy 1st Qualifying Round: Saturday, 26th September 2020
FA Trophy 2nd Qualifying Round: Saturday, 17th October 2020
The above information is correct at the time of writing but remains subject to change.