City and Blades both eye 
TV cash windfall

Bradford City's Andy Halliday, top, and Billy Knott celebrate their stunning FA Cup win over Chelsea. They will play Sunderland or Fulham next (Picture: John Walton/PA Wire).
Bradford City's Andy Halliday, top, and Billy Knott celebrate their stunning FA Cup win over Chelsea. They will play Sunderland or Fulham next (Picture: John Walton/PA Wire).
0
Have your say

BRADFORD CITY joint chairman Julian Rhodes believes the trio of Yorkshire clubs still in the FA Cup could be in line for a major cash windfall from TV following last night’s fifth-round draw.

Sheffield United, provided they can see off Preston North End in next Tuesday’s replay, will host Manchester United if Louis van Gaal’s men beat Cambridge United at Old Trafford on the same night.

Bradford, meanwhile, will host the winners of the replay between Sunderland and Fulham, while Middlesbrough travel to face holders Arsenal.

Four of the eight ties are scheduled to be broadcast live by either the BBC or BT Sport and the clubs shown will receive a broadcast fee of £247,500.

For League One clubs such as Bradford and the Blades, such a windfall would represent a significant boost to the bank balance and Rhodes believes both have a strong case to be shown live.

The Bantams’ joint chairman told The Yorkshire Post: “After what happened on Saturday at Chelsea, I would like to think that we would have a good chance of being selected.

“Everyone loves an underdog, as we have discovered since the weekend, and while I appreciate there are a couple of all-Premier League ties in the draw, surely people will be more interested in potential upsets after what happened in the last round.

“The same goes for Sheffield United. If they get through to face Manchester United then that definitely has to be one of the most attractive ties.”

City’s run to the fifth round, a stage they last reached in 1997, has already helped wipe out a £1m deficit in the playing budget.

The £90,000 Bradford received in prize money for the astonishing win at Stamford Bridge has further swelled club coffers.

As welcome as these monetary boosts have been for the League One outfit, however, the true glory has come in pulling off a shock so huge that defender Rory McArdle believes it eclipses even the 2012-13 run to the Capital One Cup final.

“I have been so fortunate since coming to Bradford to have been involved in so many memorable occasions,” said the Northern Ireland international, a veteran of glory nights against Arsenal and Aston Villa.

“We seem to have a habit of knocking Premier League teams out of both Cups, but this was the best of the lot.

“With it being away from home, the season Chelsea have had and the players in their squad, I would say Saturday has to be the biggest.

“We travelled down believing we could win. I know a lot of people won’t believe that, but the manager always has a game plan. It is pointless going out there believing you will get turned over.

“That said, to go 2-0 down at a place like Chelsea did make us start to think, ‘That’s it. The tie is probably done and dusted’.

“Jon Stead scoring just before half-time gave us a massive lift and, just as importantly, something for them to think about.

“We then came out in the second half and played some good stuff.

“We played well and deserved the goals we scored. Our 6,000 fans were incredible. Attacking that end (in the second half) was a big lift.

“The noise they made was deafening. We got a few corners early in the second half. Me and 
Andrew Davies would go forward and look over at each other when we got in the area, as if to say, ‘What better time would there be to score than now?’

“We both wanted to get in that crowd and celebrate. Which is what we were all able to do after the match.”

Last night’s fifth-round draw set up a possible repeat of the 1990 FA Cup semi-final with Liverpool set to meet Crystal Palace if they beat Bolton Wanderers in a replay, while Aston Villa host Leicester City and West Ham travel to West Brom in the two all-Premier League affairs.

On Bradford being handed a home draw in the next round, McArdle added: “Anyone would have done for us in the Cup.

“I am sure if you had asked the two chairmen, they probably wanted a replay and not a win against Chelsea.

“Seriously, everyone was just pleased to get through to the next round. Manchester United away would have probably been most people’s choice, but just being in the fifth round is something to be proud about as a club.”