Friday 5th January 2018
This weekend sees Fleetwood Town meet Leicester City in a highly anticipated Emirates FA Cup third round clash. As the League One club prepare to host their Premier League opponents, the competition is set to provide an important financial boost to the club and local businesses.
The potential return of the club’s most famous export, Jamie Vardy, who they sold to Leicester in 2012 is fuelling excitement amongst the Cod Army. Saturday lunchtime’s game – which is also being broadcast on the BBC – is expected to sell out. The sales will provide the club with record gate and hospitality receipts.
Fleetwood have taken advantage of the fixture being televised by installing LED advertising boards for the first time, allowing them to secure several new commercial sponsors. Elsewhere, the club has more than doubled its usual order for club merchandise and created a special edition match-day programme which is twice the size of their usual publication.
The club could also make up to £246,620 in revenue from The FA’s prize money, broadcast and commercial fees from their third round tie. This is on top of almost £225,000 already earned having progressed from the first round and being selected for live television coverage three times.
Local businesses are also braced for bumper takings. The Strawberry Gardens pub, a favourite amongst fans, is anticipating over 600 fans to pour in. To celebrate, the pub will be serving a limited edition ‘Vardy’s Return’ ale. The local chip shop, The Grenada Fish Bar, will also be putting on a special Cod Army deal to fuel the masses.
Steve Curwood, Chief Executive of Fleetwood Town, said: “This match against Leicester City is a great chance to put not only Fleetwood Town on the map, but the town of Fleetwood itself. As a club we love The Emirates FA Cup, and once more are proud to be in the third round for the second successive year. As well as playing Premier League opposition, the match is set to generate additional revenue for the club from The FA’s prize money, which is a huge benefit to us. The excitement is building around the town and we can’t wait for kick-off.”
Andy Ambler, The FA’s Director of Professional Game Relations, said: “The magic of The Emirates FA Cup is that a League One side like Fleetwood Town have the unique opportunity to take on a Premier League club at home. Not only has the club been able to reap the benefits of reaching the third round of the competition, it’s fantastic to see the whole community from the pubs, to the taxi drivers, to the chip shop really being able to capitalise on The Emirates FA Cup buzz and excitement.”
Billy Melvin, Pub Manager at the Strawberry Gardens Pub, said: “The pubs, takeaways and shops in the town will definitely experience an economic boost from such a big game taking place. The whole town is buzzing about it and Jamie Vardy’s return. We owe Jamie a lot in Fleetwood and naming an ale in his honour was the least we could do. It’ll be great to get the chance to welcome him back.”
64 clubs will take part in the Emirates FA Cup third this weekend, with winners receiving £67,500 from The FA’s prize fund.