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Which Club Has Won the Most FA Cup Finals?



Which Club Has Won the Most FA Cup Finals?

We could debate all day and all night about the merits of the FA Cup.

In a sport increasingly driven by money, many clubs are eschewing the ‘magic of the cup’ in favour of consolidation in the league, with the FA Cup becoming something of a breeding ground for new and fringe players as far as the elite are concerned.

And yet it’s the so-called ‘big six’ that continue to dominate the competition. Leicester City’s 2021 triumph aside, the last ten editions of the FA Cup have been shared by Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United, Liverpool and Manchester City.

But which club has hoisted the famous trophy more times than anyone else?


In Safe Hands

The two Manchester clubs and Chelsea all have a chance to extend their fine record in the competition in 2023/24 – the FA Cup odds make Manchester City (8/13) the favourites to defend the trophy, with United (9/4) and Chelsea (6/1) followed by outsiders Coventry City (25/1).

The Sky Blues have previous in the FA Cup, famously upsetting the odds to win the 1987 edition. But that’s a long way shy of Arsenal’s outstanding history in this competition.

The Gunners have won the FA Cup four times in the past decade and 14 times overall, making them the most decorated club in the competition’s history.

Manchester United are next best with 12 wins, so those little strips of ribbon that are tied to the FA Cup’s handles have been red more times than any other colour.

Three clubs, at the time of writing, are joint-third in the all-time rankings with eight victories apiece: Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham. However, they could be joined by Manchester City come May 25.


It’s Tradition

There’s a general feeling of indifference to the FA Cup these days, which is no doubt in part due to the importance of the Premier League battle.

For context, the winner of the FA Cup banks £2 million in prize money – loose change for many elite clubs. Meanwhile, the difference between finishing eighth and 12th in the Premier League (as just one example) is £14 million, so there’s evidently little financial reward in committing to winning the FA Cup squad.

That explains why the elite continue to dominate the trophy – their fringe players are still a classy bunch, which enables their head coach to rest those who have been involved in a hectic league and continental schedule. At mid-table sides in the Premier League and lower, the drop-off in quality between first-team regulars and those on the periphery is considerable.

There’s an argument too that tradition plays a part. The head coaches that have most recently enjoyed lifting the FA Cup are Pep Guardiola, Jurgen Klopp, Brendan Rodgers and Mikel Arteta – all managers from overseas who have grown up with an appreciation of the esteem in which the FA Cup is held.

These students of the English game want to win the FA Cup more than their supporters do, you fancy – especially at those clubs with Premier League or Champions League silverware in their sights.

It’s a shame then that the competition is, by and large, treated with apathy amongst those that have grown up with it.


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Jacob graduated with a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Reading. An avid footballer, he spent time under the FAW academy programme as well as Cardiff Corinthians. Later going on to play for his university and Wellington United whilst residing in New Zealand. He currently resides in Frome, Somerset. You can contact him at [email protected]


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