Financially desperate non-league side Macclesfield Town have come up with a depressing new method of raising money that shows there are no limits to what clubs must do to keep from going out of business. The club told BBC Radio Manchester that they will offer one person with £20,000 ($30,662) to part with the chance to play 10 minutes in a Conference Premier or cup match next season. But wait! There's more...
From the Guardian:
Macclesfield, who need £100,000 by the end of August to survive, say they will consider only fit males between the ages of 18 and 35, but have not said how they will choose a winner.
The winning applicant will be given a squad number and a set of home, away and training kit, will train with the first team for a week, get a place in the club photo and play for 10 minutes at some point during the season
"We haven't got Manchester United's bank balance. We've got Macclesfield Town's bank balance, which is pretty desperate to say the least at the moment," the associate director Andy Scott said. "If the club was in a strong financial position, perhaps we wouldn't even consider it.
"I think it's a wonderful opportunity for somebody to step forward and go down in the history of English football."
Scott went on to add that this person would obviously be more likely to play when it's 3-0 with 10 minutes left than when the score is close in an important match, but it's up to the manager's discretion.
Actual, talented footballers beware. We could soon see the day when Champions League squads are entirely filled with middle-aged businessmen who paid their way onto the team. Think of the potential revenue.
UPDATE: Well, it didn't take the club long to realize what a terrible idea this was and they have now rescinded the offer with apologies to "the football authorities."
The "pay to play" proposal was one of many innovative ideas that have been considered in the last few weeks to raise both funds and interest in the club. It was intended to be a light-hearted idea that would be of interest only to our local media.
We now recognise that, whatever controls are put in place, it creates a possibility of altering the outcome of a competitive fixture and as such, clearly crosses an important line with respect to the integrity of the game. We are therefore withdrawing the offer and would like to apologise unreservedly to the football authorities and to the Football Conference for our error of judgement in this matter.
Now they can move their focus to plan B: offering the chance to pay £50,000 to be manager for 30 seconds on a non-matchday.