Also amazingly this year, there are EIGHT all-Conference Premier ties in the Fourth Round Qualifying. That means there will be at least eight of the 'bigger' teams dumped out - clearing a path for more of the smaller clubs to get a foot in the first round and share a bit of the wealth.
The Conference Premier is comprised of a lot of teams that have fallen from League football (ie. huge favourites against amateur teams) so to have them batched together means that there'll be more minnow clubs than usual set for a windfall.
Hopefully South Park knock Met Police out, the latter being a stain on the non-league game. Although at least if they get on TV and we have the cliched list of all the squad's day jobs it will be quite enlightening as to how few (if any) of their players say, "Policeman".
Good luck to the minnows tomorrow, I hope at least one of you makes it through and that the draw is kind. I well remember the thrill of seeing Bromsgrove Rovers beat Buckingham Town at this stage in 1986 and so reach the First Round Proper for the first time in thirty years. Three days later I stood in the pouring rain to see an absorbing replay between the now defunct Oldbury United and Halesowen Town and saw close up how much it meant to the players. Sadly, these days, many Blue Square Premier teams seem to regard the Cup and even more the Trophy as an irritation. It's down to the likes of South Park to give this once great competition the respect it deserves. Good luck to them all!
The money that can be gained throgh the FA Cup is a lifeline for many clubs and is one of the reasons given by non-league Welsh clubs who have elected to stay in the english pyramid rather than join the Welsh Premier League. The money that can earned from the Welsh Cup simply doesn't compare. There's not even a sponsor.
Peter Bateman is wrong to suggest that Blue Square Bet Premier sides view the FA Cup as an irritation, but probably right when it comes to the FA Trophy.
Reaching the 3rd or 4th Round of the FA Cup is a financial windfall, even for non league's big boys. It has only a minor impact on fixture backlog given that there is still several months of the season left to play those rearranged fixtures.
The latter stages of the FA Trophy, however, can get in the way of either a promotion push or a relegation battle, so several BSP clubs are not too upset when they are knocked out. It's all about priorities, although York City secured both the FA Trophy and promotion to the Football League (via the play-offs) last season, so the non-league double of sorts can be done. The lesser lights, those comfortably in mid-table in their respective leagues, show greater keenness as a day out at Wembley is not too sniffed at.