The 2009–10 FA Cup is the 129th season of the world's oldest football knockout competition; The Football Association Challenge Cup, or FA Cup for short. As in the previous year, 762 clubs were accepted for the competition. One club, Newcastle Blue Star, folded before the fixtures were released. As they were scheduled to enter the competition in the First Round Qualifying, their opponents in this round will receive a walkover. The large number of clubs entering the tournament from lower down the English football league system will mean that the competition has to start with a number of preliminary and qualifying rounds. The 32 victorious teams from the Fourth Round Qualifying will progress to the First Round Proper.
The draw for the First Round Qualifying was announced on Tuesday, 1 July. Matches in this round were played on the weekend of 12 September 2009, with replays scheduled for no later than 17 September 2009.
The draw for the Second Round Qualifying was announced on 14 September 2009. Matches in this round will be played on the weekend of 26 September 2009 with possible replays scheduled for no later than 30 September 2009.
The Conference National teams will enter at this stage, along with the winners from the third qualifying round. The draw was made on 12 October, and the ties will be played in the week beginning 24 October 2009.