The players will be thinking of the glory, but for the men trying to keep Grimsby Town, Kidderminster Harriers and Macclesfield Town afloat, it is the riches on offer in the FA Cup third round that makes it worth diverting the Conference trio’s attention from the quest to regain Football League status.
For Macclesfield in particular, it is not the romance of the cup that cheers as much as the hard cash it brings in. The Silkmen, who host Sheffield Wednesday, have so far earned £64,000 in prize-money and television payments and will double that if they beat the Championship strugglers.
Manager John Askey said the cash has made the difference between surviving and going under. He added: “At the start of the season we were going to go out of business. [The FA Cup] has been so important. A win would mean us being able to survive for the rest of the season.”
Grimsby are at home to Huddersfield Town while Kidderminster host Peterborough United. All three have already claimed a league scalp and will now dreaming of Manchester United in the next round.