FA Cup vs Community Shield: What’s The Difference?

FA Cup vs Community Shield

If you’re new to Football and follow a PL club then you might think about what other domestic competitions the teams play in.

There are two big ones – the FA Cup and the Community Shield. But what’s the difference between them? Let me explain.

FA Cup vs Community Shield: The Difference explained. 

FA Cup

The FA Cup is one of the 2 official cup competitions of English football. It is an annual knockout competition played between over 700 clubs from different divisions of English football. 

How the FA Cup Works

The FA Cup is a knockout tournament. This means if a team loses a match, they are out. The winning team moves to the next round.

If It’s a Draw

From Round 2 onwards, if a match ends in a draw after 90 minutes, there are 30 more minutes of extra time. If it’s still level, it goes to penalties. In Round 1 and before, drawn games get replayed.

Number of Games

How many games a team plays in the FA Cup depends on where they start. A lower-league team might need to win 14 matches to lift the trophy. A Premier League side only needs 6 wins to become champions.

The venues decided are based on the draw, the Semifinals and Finals are played at the Wembley Stadium. 


If a team wins the FA Cup, they get the trophy. They also play in the Community Shield match at the start of next season. Plus, they qualify for the Europa League.

The winners of the FA Cup get 2 million pounds in cash and the runners-up get 1 million pounds. However, the total price depends on how many rounds a team progresses through. 

Community Shield

The Community Shield is a single match played before the new season starts. It’s between the team that won the Premier League last year and the team that won the FA Cup.

Competition Format

The FA Community Shield is a one-of-match played between the winners of the Premier League and the FA Cup. 

If a team does a domestic double than the other spot goes to the runner-up in the Premier League. 


If the match ends in a draw after regulation time it goes straight to penalties. There is no extra time as compared to the FA Cup. 

Number of Matches and Venues

Community Shield is a one-off game and it is played at the Wembley stadium. 


The team that wins the Community Shield gets the trophy. The prize money is split between the two teams because it’s a charity match.

Which is More Reputable Competition: The FA Cup or the Community Shield? 

UEFA counts the Community Shield as a real competition, but most people see it as a friendly match. Teams don’t give their full effort.

The FA Cup is the biggest cup tournament in England. Which is why it’s way more important than the Community Shield.

To Summarise the Difference Between Both the Competitions: 

FA CupFA Community Shield
Format Knockout  One-off match  
No of teams 700+2
Eligibility All English clubs Winners of the FA Cup and Winner of the Premier League. 
No of matches Maximum 14 
Price & Qualification FA Cup trophy, Europa league spot & Community shield spot FA Community shield. 


To sum it up, both competitions are important in English football. They serve different purposes.

The FA Cup is the biggest cup tournament. Over 700 teams from all over the country compete in it. The winner gets to play in Europe.

On the other hand, the Community Shield kicks off the new season. It’s a single match between the league champions and FA Cup winners.

In the end, both competitions are exciting for fans in their own ways. They make English football better.

What do you think?

Written by TackleFromBehind

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