FEW lower-division clubs can appreciate the financial pot of gold that a money-spinning FA Cup run can bring more than AFC Wimbledon and Doncaster Rovers.
Last season’s Cup divisional progress prize fund, which is made to the EFL clubs from each division who go furthest in the competition, saw the Dons and Rovers share the League One hand-out after pocketing £75,000 apiece from reaching round five.
All told, Rovers – who budget for a £200,000 profit each year from cup competitions – saw their coffers swelled by an extra £600,000 following all the proceeds from their run to the last 16 for the first time in 63 years.
For Rovers chief Darren Moore, the kudos of an extended run also assumes significant importance alongside the cash benefits.
He said: “We want to do as well as we possibly can and it starts this weekend. For clubs such as ourselves, it is important to get a good cup run with the financial gains.
“But it is not only that, it is the enjoyment and excitement which builds within the supporters and the whole town of Doncaster. So it is important for many aspects.
“The FA Cup is a fantastic competition and we are looking forward to the tie.
“Wimbledon have huge history in the FA Cup and we look forward to the game.
“It will be typical weather for cup football!”
Rovers face a rejuvenated Dons side who have perked up under the command of a one-time Plough Lane legend in Glyn Hodges, part of the club’s feted ‘Crazy Gang’ era of the Eighties in the days of Dave ‘Harry’ Bassett.
Among the nominees for the League One manager of the month gong for October, former Barnsley caretaker manager Hodges has tasted defeat just once in six matches in all competitions since the beginning of October, winning all three home appointments in the process at Kingsmeadow.
The Doncaster manager added: “Glyn has shown the stability that he has given them.
“He has also shown the know-how, confidence and togetherness and given them all that.
“They are stable and seem to be improving.
“So in terms of that, he has done a fantastic job and I can only commend him on the good work he has done.
“He has settled everyone down and it seems to be in a far, far happier place and results obviously help that.
“But we have got to stay focused and maintain control on our game.”