How does an FA Cup Trophy Impact League Position?

With the 2018 FA Cup now in its fourth round, I asked myself: what is the importance of the trophy in relation to league position? If the primary goal for English (and Welsh) teams is succeeding in the league, does the FA Cup help teams with this objective?

I decided for the purpose of this article to focus on one specific question: does an FA Cup trophy increase or decrease a team’s EPL rank the next season? In other words, does winning the FA Cup lead a team to improve their position in the league?

To do this, I looked at FA Cup data from the 1890 to 2016 to observe the change in league position for cup winners. I visualized it using a scatter plot:


The median difference was zero while the mean difference was 0.9396552, showing a very weak relationship indeed. It seems that winning the FA Cup does not do a whole lot in terms of league position. Nonetheless, it’s still a nice trophy to add to your cabinet.

And here is an animated visualization:


Code can be found on Github.

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