Tier seven side, Clapton Community FC, have turned many heads with their amazing run in the FA Cup. Their most recent victory came in the second round against third-tier National League side Hounslow. Their prize was a third-round draw against another third-tier side, Plymouth Argyle.
Currently based in Walthamstow, Clapton Community FC was set up by supporters and life members of the men’s team Clapton FC. The CCFC men’s team began playing in 2018 and the women’s team joined in 2019 when they absorbed AFC Stoke Newington.
While the cup run is something to be celebrated this comes with other logistical challenges, including being able to afford the costs of travel to Devon. Something that the club is struggling with and due to the lack of financial support the club has been forced to ask its fans to help by crowdfunding.
Clapton have played four games in the competition so far, all of which were away fixtures and away teams in the Women’s FA Cup do not get a share of gate receipts unlike in men’s FA cup competitions. I appreciate that there is an element of chance to the draw but it is a sad state of affairs that the club are almost better off financially not progressing into the third round.
They advise, “We are immensely proud of what we have achieved so far. We have scooped £2,900 in prize money for the four wins. An equivalent run in the men’s FA Cup would have netted £65,629. At this stage of the competition, we receive no financial support. So because of that, we are looking to raise £3,000, to cover the train and accommodation cost of our squad and coaches to get to Plymouth for the third round proper of the Vitality Women’s FA Cup.”
While I appreciate the competitions are very different with regards to the income generated, I also looked at the FA Trophy which is a competition for semi-pro sides. Third round winners get £4,500 and the losing side picks up £1,250. Yes, the same as the winner of the women’s level. The FA must look harder at the prize money made available to clubs competing in the Women’s FA Cup and it needs to happen quickly to avoid situations like this.
At the time of writing the team have reached £2,229 and have twelve days to reach their goal. If you can spare anything to help their cause then that would be awesome, especially because if they can get their preparations right then they’ll be full of confidence that they can get a result against a Plymouth team who have struggled this season in the league. Find out more here.