A total of 729 clubs will enter the Emirates FA Cup for the 2021-22 season, the 150th campaign of the competition’s history.
Following on from the announcement of the new season’s round dates earlier in the week, we can now confirm the list of accepted clubs for the campaign as well as the list of round exemptions and the 2021-22 prize fund.
The total prize fund will remain at circa £16m which is the same level as it was for the 2020-21 competition.
There will be payments made to the winners and losers in all rounds of the qualifying rounds, but payments will only be made to the winners from the first round proper through to the quarter-final.
The winners and losers will each receive a payment in the semi-final and Final.
Replays will be mandatory in all rounds of the qualifying competition and the competition proper from the first round proper up to and including the fourth round proper.
In addition, we can reveal that there will be 610 clubs involved in the 2021-22 FA Youth Cup campaign, with exemptions and round dates for that competition also revealed.
The draws for the first two rounds of both competitions will be released on Friday 9 July, while the rules for each competition will be released as early as possible prior to the start of the season.
The Emirates FA Cup - Step 6 Clubs of The FA National League System – Accepted
As the Emirates FA Cup was oversubscribed, it hasn’t been possible to accommodate all clubs that submitted an application to enter.
As a result of the recent restructuring of the FA National League System (NLS), the maximum number of clubs that can be accepted to participate in the competition in its current format is 729.
Draws were conducted to determine eight of the 17 Step 6 Leagues which will be represented in the competition and each of those eight Step 6 Leagues will then be represented by one club.
This club is the highest ranked club within that Step 6 League that wasn’t successful in receiving upward movement to Step 5 of the NLS in the recent restructuring.
We believe this to be the fairest method in the current circumstances, to ensure the competition has a fair balance of clubs from Step 6 of the NLS.
The Emirates FA Cup - Step 4 Clubs of The FA National League System – Exemptions
Similar to previous seasons, in order to maintain the number of participating clubs at a similar level and to ensure the competition can retain its current format, it is necessary for a number of clubs at Step 4 of the NLS to enter the competition in the extra preliminary round instead of the preliminary round.
For the 2021-22 competition there shall be 21 clubs at Step 4 that will enter in the extra preliminary round instead of receiving exemption to the preliminary round, which is the round where the remaining Step 4 Clubs shall enter.
This shall comprise of three clubs from five of the eight Step 4 Leagues, which means there will be two clubs from each of the remaining three Step 4 Leagues.
You can download all of the documents for both the Emirates FA Cup and Youth Cup below.