When teams take to the pitch to battle it out for the Community Shield, it is a signal that the English football season is officially under way.
While the prestige of winning the trophy may have worn off slightly in recent years, it remains one of the most important dates in the calendar and is a chance for players to play at ‘The Home of Football’.
Goal brings you everything you need to know about the Community Shield, including which teams qualify for it, where the game is played and the most successful clubs.
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What is the Community Shield? Which teams qualify for the Community Shield? Where is the Community Shield played? Which team is the most successful in Community Shield history? Is the Community Shield different to the Charity Shield?
What is the Community Shield?
The Community Shield is a ‘super cup’ competition which serves as a traditional curtain-raiser for the English football season.
It is a single-game, winner-takes-all affair and it is usually played around a week before the beginning of the Premier League and English Football League seasons.
The first Community Shield was played in 1908, meaning it has been in existence for over a century.
Proceeds from the game, such as ticket revenue and so forth are distributed among community initiatives related to football across England.
Which teams qualify for the Community Shield?
The Community Shield is contested by the champions of the Premier League and the winners of the FA Cup.
In the event that the Premier League champions also win the FA Cup, the other place in the Community Shield goes to the league runner-up, rather than the cup’s losing finallists.
The Community Shield is similar to other ‘super cup’ competitions in Europe, such as the Supercoppa Italiana (Serie A winners versus Coppa Italia winners) and the German Supercup (Bundesliga champions versus DFB Pokal winners).
In Spain, the Supercopa de Espana is now contested by four teams instead of two. The winners of La Liga and the Copa del Rey are joined in the tournament by the runners up in those competitions.
Where is the Community Shield played?
Since 1974 the Community Shield has traditionally been played at the neutral venue of Wembley Stadium in London.
The Millennium Stadium in Cardiff served as a temporary venue during the construction of ‘New Wembley’.
Prior to 1974, the game had been played at a number of different venues, such as Old Trafford, Stamford Bridge and White Hart Lane among others.
Which team is the most successful in Community Shield history?
Manchester United are the most successful club in the history of the Community Shield, with a total of 21 trophies in their silverware cabinet.
The Red Devils are well ahead of Arsenal and Liverpool, who follow in terms of Community Shield triumphs.
United also won the first Community Shield, beating Queens Park Rangers 4-0 in a replay after the first game finished 1-1.
Is the Community Shield different to the Charity Shield?
The Community Shield is the same competition as the Charity Shield, just under a different name.
A name-change occurred in 2002 when the competition was rebranded due to a legal technicality regarding compliance with UK charity law.
The name ‘Charity Shield’ was intended to reflect the fact that revenue from the game was distributed among charitable causes.
That fundamental goal is still central to the competition and the new name ‘Community Shield’ encapsulates the fact that money is distributed to the English football community.
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