It’s been 69 years, almost to the day, since the first Accrington Stanley stood across the pitch from Manchester United in a meaningful game.
And to commemorate the fact that the current iteration of the club could’ve played the Red Devils in the FA Cup had they not lost to Yeovil Town, they are selling tickets to a match that will never happen.
[ FA CUP: ‘World’s strongest player’ vs. Liverpool ]
Yes, for just $30 you can have a ticket to a fake game.
If you’ll buy what Accrington Stanley is selling (literally) your purchase will help fund the club’s push for promotion to the Championship.
Those who purchase the commemorative tickets will have their name on a Roll of Honour in the club programme and on the website to recognise their contribution.
“It would make a massive difference and any avenue that we can explore to try to bring funds into the club has got to be explored,” said manager John Coleman. “In essence it’s a virtual match but we are speaking to Manchester United and we’re going to try to pull on their heart strings a bit and hopefully those who buy the tickets might actually see us play them in the not too distant future.
“When I came back to the club from day one I said that I didn’t want the players to think of us as little Accy. Infrastructure wise and ground wise you can say that we are a small club but we have big hearts and great people who support us and work behind the scenes at the club and they just need a little bit of help. A lot of people will look at Accrington Stanley with affection and some will adopt us as their second club. If those people can help us a little bit and make us a bit stronger then maybe we can give them better days supporting us.”
Keeping in mind that the commemorative ticket price costs exactly the same as admission to a normal Accrington Stanley match, this one’s a head-scratcher. They say all press is good press, but perhaps this is the exception to the rule. And thinking a giant club like Manchester United will look upon this campaign and say, “Sure let’s give them a friendly” seems hopeful at best.
The club bills itself as “The Club That Wouldn’t Die”, and has survived a lot of obstacles in maintaining its team. That much should be lauded, but apparently it feels the same about its Cup dreams.
Then again, if it works…