The Concept: The original FA Cup was designed to be a challenge cup with the holders receiving a bye into the final where they would be challenged by whichever club survived the knockout rounds. However, this only occurred in the second year of its existence when Wanderers, the winners of the inaugural competition in 1872, awaited Oxford University in the 1873 final. Thereafter it sensibly reverted to a straight knockout cup. What would have happened if we had had a slightly different Challenge that had continued unbroken until this day? If we assume that this Shield had been awarded to Wanderers as winners of first FA Cup in 1872, then it would have been passed from team to team down through the years. The Rules: 1. A team must defend the Shield in all home competitive games (not including friendlies or European or World matches). Essentially this is usually only the League, FA Cup and League Cup, although other competitions occasionally come into play. 2. A draw or a win in normal time or extra time including penalties results in a successful defence. A loss means that the Shield is transferred to the challengers. The Current Holders: League Oneâs Milton Keynes Dons currently hold The Wandering Challenge Shield, this is their 2nd reign. The Next Match: Milton Keynes Dons will defend the Shield in their League One game against Preston North End on Saturday 17th December. If successful this would become Prestonâs 10th reign.