DCSIMG

Cash reward is a real incentive for Cobblers at Bradford

LOTS OF SPACE - there were plenty of empty seats at Sixfields for the Cobblers' 1-1 FA Cup draw with Bradford City 10 days ago, and there will be 1,000s more at Valley Parade for the replay tonight

LOTS OF SPACE - there were plenty of empty seats at Sixfields for the Cobblers' 1-1 FA Cup draw with Bradford City 10 days ago, and there will be 1,000s more at Valley Parade for the replay tonight

 

Tuesday night’s game at Valley Parade is unlikely to feel much like a significant fixture for the players or the supporters of the Cobblers.

Bradford’s ground is enormous and the game is not included in the season tickets held by more than 10,000 residents of the city.

This small fact, combined with the presence of a big Capital One Cup quarter-final against Premier League heavyweights Arsenal further down the road, is likely to lead to a gate that is decidedly on the small side for the surroundings.

It won’t feel quite so much like a reserve-team game as it will a game between the Christians’ reserves and the reserve lions in the Coliseum, watched by just a handful of Romans and a scattering of centurions.

But in such subtle surroundings great things can be achieved.

This might even be the biggest game of the season for the Cobblers, such are the financial incentives on the table.

The club only ever budgets for one game in each cup competitions, so by having two in the FA Cup (and two in the Capital One Cup, plus three – so far – in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy) they are already in the black for knockout football this season.

The FA Cup is the most lucrative of the three the club is entered for because it is the only one that carries prize money, and in fact for a lot of JPT ties the clubs involve end up losing money or at best breaking even when all the expenses have been deducted.

A win at Bradford would give the club accounts an immediate injection of £18,000 – not a fortune but enough to finance a signing in the January transfer window, for example.

It would also lead to another game, another slice of gate receipts for a second-round match against Brentford and a chance to get into round three where, of course, untold riches are available if the balls fall the right way in the draw.

Bradford will without doubt be entertaining the same thoughts, even if they are already quids in due to the Arsenal game, and so in theory the game should have an extra edge to it.

Even if it is played in front of a crowd miniscule by Valley Parade standards.

 

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