Plymouth Tie & FA Cup Run Can Reawaken Lincoln Ambitions
The Plymouth Argyle FA Cup game at Sincil Bank on 9th November will see a much needed boost to the Imps coffers, thanks to the emphatic 3-0 win over Worcester City last night. Win lose or draw the cup run – all three games of it- will dramatically boost the manager’s budget and reawaken the waning ambitions of Lincoln fans. Manager Gary Simpson knows this job is a long-term project as he seeks to turn around the clubs fortunes but £50-£100,000 would make a tough job so much easier and give success starved Imps something to chew on. Naturally the same could be said of Plymouth and the fantastic Pilgrim support.
Plymouth are the second best supported side in League 2, indeed an average away following of 729 for last season, has increased both home and away so far this term despite only being 18th in the division so far. The chance of a cup upset could tempt the TV cameras to Sincil Bank ensuring a further cash bonanza of £67,500 per club, with ITV and BT Sport showing 3 games in the First Round proper of the competition. The tie could also put some pressure on manager John Sheridan who has been in the job since January, after guiding the Pilgrims to safety following the departure of Carl Fletcher.
With The Pilgrims likely to bring a decent following and the chance of an upset there is every chance the Imps could see a 4,000 crowd for the first time this season. At £12 per head, less the FA’s cut we could be looking at another £20,000, which equates to another players wages plus a chance to grab £18,000 in prize money. Even a defeat would increase the value of the cup run to £40,000 with the hospitality side of things adding more. Win it and we could be looking at massive money for a club that is struggling to put together a competitive budget (400-450K) to do justice to many fans ambitions and a return to the Football League sooner rather than later.
The crowds for the first two matches have been disappointing with just 2363 turning up for the two ties. This would put the value of the cup run at just over £20,000 when one includes the £12,500 prize money the Imps secured last night in front of just 1344 fans, including 45 visitors. It could be argued that the FA Cup has failed to engage the folk of our fair city so far, however, the allure of Plymouth will surely have Imps out in force eager to witness a potential giant killing – perhaps the last before a planned move – at the place so many of us love to call our second home.