Carabao Cup vs Community Shield

Community Shield vs Carabao Cup: Which is Bigger?

The comparison between the Community Shield vs the Carabao Cup is a big one. Fans begin to wonder which is a bigger football club competition in England.

Both competitions have been identified as minor or “irrelevant” by fans when compared to the bigger prizes like the Premier League, FA Cup, Champions League and other European competitions. But out of the two, one is certainly a bigger competition than the other. 

In this article, we take a deep analysis of both competitions and determine which is bigger.

The fA community shield

The English Football Association Community Shield is a one-game competition conducted and organized annually by the English FA in which the winners of the Premier League and the FA Cup from the previous season play against each other for a common prize. 

In a situation whereby one team is both Premier League and FA Cup champions, the team will get to play against the league’s runner-up. 

The Community Shield was founded in 1908, replacing the Sheriff of London Charity Shield and 115 years later, a total of 25 teams have emerged winners of the competition with Manchester United being the most successful team – winning it 21 times.

Although it is the first competitive game of the season, some clubs still recognize it as a friendly game which they use as a means of preparing the players for the new season. 

However, other clubs and managers such as Antonio Conte and Pep Guardiola in the past have regarded the Community Shield as an important game of the season with a trophy on the line. 

The standard of the Community Shield as to how important of a game it is in England is very much debatable. 

The Carabao Cup

The Carabao Cup, also known as the EFL Cup, is a football competition in England held annually and is conducted and organized by the English Football League. Unlike the Community, the Carabao Cup is contested by all the teams in the top four tiers of English football, resulting in a total of 92 teams. 

Traditionally known as the League Cup, it was established in 1960 with Liverpool being the most successful club in the competition with six Carabao Cup titles. 

Similar to the Community Shield, the Carabao Cup is of low calibre. Most times, managers use the competition to give opportunities to inexperienced players or players returning from injury. 

Due to its low status, accompanied by the fact that it is sponsored by Carabao Energy Drink, the league is humorously referred to by many fans as an “Energy Drink Cup”.  

Having discussed both competitions, let us now compare both of them based on different metrics. 

Carabao Cup vs Community Shield: prize money

The Community Shield is a charity event which means that the main idea behind the match is to raise money for charity and community initiatives. 

However, both teams will be given an equal amount of £625,000 each after the game. The funds raised for charity and both clubs are from ticket sales, sponsorship deals and TV revenue. 

On the other hand, the Carabao Cup winning team will be rewarded £100,000 with the runners-up receiving £50,000.

Carabao Cup vs Community Shield: sponsorships

The Carabao Energy Drink is the official sponsor of the Carabao Cup and has had seven sponsors in the past: Milk Marketing Board, Littlewoods, Rumbelows, Coca-Cola, Worthington, Carling and Capital One. 

Meanwhile, the Community Shield is in partnership with the FA Community sponsor, McDonald’s and had had four sponsors in the past which are: One2One, AXA, Littlewoods and General Motors. 

Carabao Cup vs Community Shield: record attendance

On the 8th of August 2004, the FA Community Shield recorded its highest attendance in the 3-1 Arsenal win against Manchester United after 63,317 spectators were present in the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff. It also attracted a worldwide 270 million TV broadcast audience. 

On the other hand, the record attendance for a Carabao Cup match came in the 2023 Carabao Cup final in a 2-0 victory for Manchester United against Newcastle where the attendance inside Wembley Stadium was at 87,306. 

Qualifier for?

The winner of the Carabao Cup automatically qualifies for the UEFA Europa Conference League for the following season if the team fails to qualify for any European competition from the domestic league. 

This benefit, unfortunately, isn’t available for the winner of the Community Shield.

number of rounds

The Carabao Cup runs from August to February or March among all 92 teams in the top four tiers of English football across seven rounds with each round having a single-leg tie except for the semi-finals which will be played over two legs. 

The case isn’t the same with Community Shield. As a one-game competition, the winner will be determined from one match.

Tabular Comparison: Carabao Cup vs Community Shield

CategoryCommunity Shield Carabao Cup 
Prize money1st – £625,000, 2nd -£625,0001st £100,000, 2nd £50,000.
Total Number of Sponsors 58
Qualifies for NAUEFA Europa Conference League 
Number of Rounds17
Record Attendance 63,31787,306

The table above gives a better illustration of the comparison between the Community Shield vs the Carabao Cup. 

Although the Community Shield looks to have a higher prize money than the Carabao Cup, the latter has an upper hand in match attendance, competition qualified for if won and has attracted more sponsorship deals, this in turn will generate more revenue for the Carabao Cup than the Community Shield.


While both competitions are English local competitions, the Carabao Cup seem to be more of a major trophy than the Community Shield Cup.

In fact, some managers do not regard the Community Shield as a major trophy.

Nonetheless, the major difference between the Carabao Cup vs the Community Sheild is the number of rounds. Carabao Cup has 8 rounds while the Community Shield is just a one-match trophy. 

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