The sponsors of the FA Cup are absolutely delighted with this years competition and the exposure it has given them. Any sponsor wants the top teams contesting a final for maximum interest and this season the semi-final line up could well be four of the top five teams in the Premier League.
Emirates are the sponsors of the 2016/17 FA Cup, the 136th edition with it's final at Wembley lessened in importance by the semi-finals being played there. 736 teams compete in 149 matches for one to be victorious.
However, prior to getting there there have been big stories along the way. Everyone like a giant killing, they have become less frequent now there is more money in the game but this season has been different. For the first time since 1914 we have a non-league side in the quarter-finals and naturally Arsenal have drawn them, they so frequently get the easiest of routes.
Extra Preliminary Round winners (184) £1,500
Preliminary Round winners (160) £1,925
First Round Qualifying winners (116) £3,000
Second Round Qualifying winners (80) £4,500
Third Round Qualifying winners (40) £7,500
Fourth Round Qualifying winners (32) £12,500
First Round Proper winners (40) £18,000
Second Round Proper winners (20) £27,000
Third Round Proper winners (32) £67,500
Fourth Round Proper winners (16) £90,000
Fifth Round Proper winners (8) £180,000
Sixth Round Proper winners (4) £360,000
Semi-final losers (2) £450,000
Semi-final winners (2) £900,000
Final runners-up (1) £900,000
Final winner (1) £1,800,000
Lincoln, if my calculations are correct, have picked up £395,000 so far, gained tremendous exposure and as they are sitting comfortably on top of the National League, have set themselves up to be able to finance a real shot at staying in League Two at least.
The competition needed a fresh injection of interest with even Championship sides fielding weakened teams, this season has certainly provided it.
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