The Football Association Community Shield (formerly the Charity Shield) is English football's annual match contested between the champions of the previous Premier League season and the holders of the FA Cup at Wembley Stadium. If the Premier League champions also won the FA Cup then the league runners-up provide the opposition. The fixture is recognised as a competitive super cup by the Football Association.
Organised by the FA, proceeds from the game are distributed to community-based initiatives and charities around the country. Revenue from the gate receipts and match programme sales is distributed to the 124 clubs who competed in The FA Cup from the First Round onwards, for onward distribution to charities and projects of their choice, while the remainder is distributed to the FA's national charity partners. The fixture was first played in the 1908–09 season, replacing the Sheriff of London Charity Shield.
The Community Shield evolved from the Sheriff of London Charity Shield that had been introduced in 1898 as a professionals versus amateurs cup (the gentlemen and players tradition). The Football Association Charity Shield, as it was known at the time, was designed to replace the Sheriff of London Charity Shield after the leading amateur clubs fell out with the FA. The new format was to have the Football League First Division champions play the Southern League champions, and the first match was in 1908 between Manchester United (the First Division champions) and Queens Park Rangers (the Southern League champions). The match was drawn 1–1, so the game was replayed when Manchester United won 4–0. This is the only Charity Shield game to go to a replay. Both games were played at Stamford Bridge.
The competition format varied over the years: in 1913 the Shield was contested between Amateurs and Professionals XIs, while in 1921 the Shield was contested between the Football League and FA Cup winners for the first time. The format continued to vary in the 1920s, usually along the lines of Amateurs v. Professionals, including one year (1927) where the Professionals were represented by the FA Cup holders Cardiff City and the Amateurs by the Corinthians, echoing the format of the trophy's predecessor, the Sheriff of London Charity Shield.
In 1930 the Football League winner v. FA Cup winner returned, and with a few exceptions, this format has remained to the present day. Notable exceptions include the 1950 Shield, which involved the England World Cup team against an FA team that had toured Canada that summer, and the 1961 Shield, when Tottenham Hotspur became the first team of the 20th century to win the Double, and so played a Football Association XI.
The game had been moved to the start of the season from 1959 onwards. The question of which two teams should contest the Shield should one team win both the FA Cup and League continued to linger. In 1971, Arsenal became the second team to win the Double since the Shield's foundation, but owing to their previously arranged pre-season friendly matches, they could not take part. Leicester City were invited as Division Two champions to play FA Cup runners-up Liverpool instead and went on to win the trophy, despite having won neither the League (until 2016, when they contested it again and were runners-up) nor the FA Cup (at all).
In 1972, league champions Derby County and FA Cup winners Leeds United both declined to take part in the Charity Shield, so Manchester City, who had finished in fourth in the First Division, and Third Division champions Aston Villa were invited to take part; Manchester City won 1–0. Despite finishing the season eleventh, City also contested the 1973 Charity Shield but lost 1-0 to Second Division champions Burnley.
Four drawn games in the 1980s and early 1990s resulted in each team holding the trophy for 6 months, but in 1993 penalties were re-introduced to decide drawn games.
With the formation of a new top league, the FA Premier League, the Shield became a showcase match between the Premier League and FA Cup winners from the 1993 competition onwards.
In 2002, the Charity Commission found that the Football Association failed to meet its legal obligations under charity law, by failing to specify what money from ticket sales went to charity, and delaying payments to the charities nominated. As a result, the competition was renamed the Community Shield. Arsenal were the first winners of the renamed Community Shield with a 1–0 victory over Liverpool.
In 2016, the FA's official silversmith Thomas Lyte restored and rebuilt the Football Association's original 1908 Charity Shield to mark 50 years since England beat West Germany in the 1966 FIFA World Cup.
The trophy was sold at auction with the proceeds going to the Bobby Moore Fund for Cancer Research UK raising £40,000. The auction was held at The Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington, where the England team celebrated the 1966 victory. The Bobby Moore Fund became the FA's charity partner in July 2016. 
The rules of the Community Shield are generally the same as those for Premier League, with a team of 11 starting players and 7 substitutes. However, unlike in most other competitions where only three substitutions are permitted, teams in the Community Shield are permitted up to six substitutions. If the scores are level after 90 minutes, the teams play a penalty shootout.
An official honour in the English game, the Community Shield is the first competitive game of the new top-flight English football season. However, it has been considered by some to be a minor trophy and Community Shield games may not be as hotly contested as other trophy finals. The tournament, along with other domestic super cups, generally receives far higher status in the rest of Europe than in Britain, where the game has been described by some domestic media sources, including Mark Lawrenson, as a "glorified friendly". Prior to the 2008 FA Community Shield, Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson summarised his opinion of the competition: "The Community Shield is a prestigious match but I have used players in it who were not quite fit... it's always a game we never quite use as a do or die thing; we use it as a barometer for fitness". On the other hand, many media, clubs and players continue to recognise the importance of the match as the first official game and trophy of the domestic season. Ahead of the 2016 FA Community Shield against Manchester United, Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri asked, "Why do you say this question, a friendly? When is the Community Shield a friendly? Of course we will be at the maximum and Manchester United will be at their maximum. The two teams want to win. I am very excited." The following year, Chelsea manager Antonio Conte affirmed the significance of the cup, stating "It is not a friendly game. It is an official game and there is a trophy so for us it must be important" ahead of his side's clash with Arsenal, the team that had denied his club the double the previous season.
|Stamford Bridge, London||
||1908, 1909, 1910, 1911, 1923, 1927, 1930, 1950, 1955, 1970|
||1924, 1934, 1935, 1938, 1948, 1949, 1953|
|White Hart Lane, London||
||1912, 1920, 1921, 1925, 1951, 1961|
|Old Trafford, Manchester||
||1922, 1928, 1952, 1957, 1965, 1967|
|Maine Road, Manchester||
||1926, 1937, 1956, 1968, 1973|
|Villa Park, Birmingham||
||1931, 1972, 2012|
|Goodison Park, Liverpool||
||1933, 1963, 1966|
|The Den, London||
For purposes of clarity, venues mentioned in italics in this section no longer exist.
Since 1974, the Community Shield has been at a permanent home rather than guest venues.
The fixture was originally played at various neutral grounds or the home ground of one of the teams competing. In total there have been seventeen host grounds other than the aforementioned permanent three. The first ground to host the fixture was Stamford Bridge in 1908 and the last ground which guest hosted the fixture was Villa Park in 2012, which was due to Wembley and the Millennium Stadium hosting the 2012 Olympics football tournament. Stadiums considered included St James' Park, and the Stadium of Light but Villa Park was chosen for the 2012 contest.
There have been eight grounds which have hosted the fixture on one single occasion, these being: St James' Park in 1932, Roker Park in 1936, Burnden Park in 1958, Turf Moor in 1960, Portman Road in 1962, Anfield in 1964, Elland Road in 1969 and Filbert Street in 1971. Nine grounds have hosted the fixtures on multiple occasions.
(outright wins/shared titles)
|Years (* title was shared)|
|Manchester United||21 (17/4)||1908, 1911, 1952, 1956, 1957, 1965*, 1967*, 1977*, 1983, 1990*, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 2003, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2016|
|Arsenal||15 (14/1)||1930, 1931, 1933, 1934, 1938, 1948, 1953, 1991*, 1998, 1999, 2002, 2004, 2014, 2015, 2017|
|Liverpool||15 (10/5)||1964*, 1965*, 1966, 1974, 1976, 1977*, 1979, 1980, 1982, 1986*, 1988, 1989, 1990*, 2001, 2006|
|Everton||9 (8/1)||1928, 1932, 1963, 1970, 1984, 1985, 1986*, 1987, 1995|
|Tottenham Hotspur||7 (4/3)||1921, 1951, 1961, 1962, 1967*, 1981*, 1991*|
|Chelsea||4||1955, 2000, 2005, 2009|
|Manchester City||4||1937, 1968, 1972, 2012|
|Wolverhampton Wanderers||4 (1/3)||1949*, 1954*, 1959, 1960*|
|Leeds United||2||1969, 1992|
|Burnley||2 (1/1)||1960*, 1973|
|West Bromwich Albion||2 (1/1)||1920, 1954*|
|Brighton & Hove Albion||1||1910|
|Aston Villa||1 (0/1)||1981*|
|West Ham United||1 (0/1)||1964*|
|English Professionals XI||4||1913, 1923, 1924, 1929|
|English Amateurs XI||2||1925, 1926|
|England 1950 FIFA World Cup XI||1||1950|