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Do FA Cup winners qualify for Europa League? FA Cup finalists and champions prizes explained

With the Premier League having returned from its World Cup break, attention turns to a packed January schedule, as the FA Cup third round kicks off on January 6.

The tournament is the oldest knockout club competition in world football and offers teams from across the English league pyramid a route to Wembley Stadium.

Alongside the potential of a date in the capital, an FA Cup final win also provides a huge cash injection and the chance of a European adventure.

Find out everything you need to know on the 2022/23 FA Cup below.

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Do FA Cup winners qualify for Europa League? 

The winners of the FA Cup automatically secure a spot in the following season’s Europa League group stages. However, their Premier League finish will also affect this.

If the FA Cup winners finish inside the top tour and thereby qualify for the Champions League — or fifth, and reach the Europa League — their Europa League qualifying spot via the FA Cup will be reassigned to the next-highest-ranked team.

An FA Cup win has provided a back-up for teams finishing outside the Premier League’s European places in recent seasons, with Arsenal’s eighth spot in 2020/21 saved by their FA Cup victory.

What do FA Cup runners-up qualify for? 

The permutations for European qualification become a little more complicated for the runners-up in the FA Cup each season.

If the winner of the cup has already qualified for either the Champions League or the Europa League via a Premier League route, the FA Cup runners-up will take up their Europa League place.

However, if both FA Cup finalists qualify for Europe through the Premier League, the FA Cup spot will be absorbed by the Premier League.

In 2021/22, Liverpool beat Chelsea in the FA Cup and EFL Cup finals, and with both sides already qualifying for the Champions League having finished in the Premier League top four, the spots were reallocated accordingly.

Arsenal and Manchester United, who finished fifth and sixth in the league, qualified for the Europa League. West Ham United, who came seventh, went into the Europa Conference League.

What is the FA Cup prize money? 

Success in the FA Cup final also offers a financial boost with the FA confirming the 2022/23 winners will receive £2 million/$2.42 million.

The runners-up will bank £1m/$1.21m for their efforts with prize money awarded in decreasing measures all the way down to the extra preliminary rounds at the start of the competition.

A ‘cup run’ is regularly treasured in English football as providing both nostalgia and much-needed funds. Non-league Marine’s third-round clash with Premier League giants Tottenham in 2021 saved the club from financial ruin as it saw them earn around £500,000/$685,000.

MORE: FA Cup third round: Draw in full

Lowest-ranked teams to win the FA Cup

The FA Cup has been dominated by top Premier League sides in recent seasons with one of Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool or Arsenal winning 12 of the past 14 finals.

Wigan Athletic’s win over City in 2013 was the last significant final upset, as Roberto Martinez’s side were relegated from the Premier League that season despite their Wembley glory.

Cardiff City are the last team outside the topnflight to reach the final, as the Welsh giants lost to Portsmouth in 2008.

However, the last team to win the FA Cup from outside the top tier predates the Premier League, with Trevor Brooking’s famous goal clinching the 1980 trophy for Second Division West Ham against holders Arsenal.

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