FA set for huge financial blow as ‘prawn sandwich brigade’ will NOT be charged for boxes at Wembley… even if fans are allowed back inside stadiums this season
- The coronavirus pandemic has cost the FA £300m, resulting in 124 job losses
- Despite that, the FA will not be charging clients for corporate boxes at Wembley
- Commercial partners have had limited value during the pandemic, say the FA
- Games have so far been behind closed doors, with domestic Cup finals to come
The FA are resigned to receiving a hefty financial blow as it emerged they will not be billing clients for their Wembley boxes — even if fans are allowed back into stadiums this season.
The pandemic has cost English football’s governing body £300 million, which in June resulted in 124 job losses.
Nevertheless, the FA will not be invoicing clients for the corporate boxes at the national stadium for this season given their entire schedule so far has taken place behind closed doors.
The FA will not be charging clients for boxes at Wembley – even if fans are allowed back inside
The boxes, occupied by the FA’s commercial and private clients, are worth huge amounts to the organisation.
The FA’s stance is not universal across English football. Sportsmail understands at least one high-profile club have so far fallen short of offering box-holders refunds, to the annoyance of corporate supporters — memorably labelled the ‘prawn sandwich brigade’ by Roy Keane.
But there is an acknowledgement at the FA that commercial partners, many of whom have suites at Wembley, have had limited value for their deals during the pandemic.
England have had five games at Wembley this season — all behind closed doors. Gareth Southgate’s side have two international fixtures at Wembley before the end of the season — the World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Poland.
Wembley is also due to host two FA Cup semi-finals and the final as well as the Carabao Cup final this season.
Arsenal won last season’s FA Cup, winning the final inside an empty Wembley Stadium
For the matches played behind closed doors last season, including the three final FA Cup games, box-holders were issued credits for future Wembley events to make up for the closures.
England were also due to play three warm-up games for the delayed Euro 2020 that were all cancelled.
The FA are now exploring their options of what non-football related concessions they could offer as potential sweeteners.