Tottenham avoids upset, but FA Cup replay just as valuable to fourth-division Newport County

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Padraig Amond celebrates his goal for Newport County against Tottenham in the FA Cup. (Getty)
Padraig Amond celebrates his goal for Newport County against Tottenham in the FA Cup. (Getty)

Newport County’s dream of the FA Cup fifth round, which was alive and flourishing for over 80 minutes on Saturday, is probably dead.

It died in the 82nd minute of Newport’s David-vs.-Goliath clash with Tottenham. The fourth-division minnows lost the Premier League’s best striker on a corner, and paid the price:


With a 1-0 halftime lead as the point of reference, Harry Kane’s equalizer was incredibly disappointing. It was a massive blow to Newport’s progression in the competition. It shut down the party at the 7,850-capacity Rodney Parade.

But only momentarily. Because the 1-1 draw earned Newport a replay. And a replay, at least from a financial perspective, might actually be more valuable to a club that barely avoided relegation from the entire Football League last year.

That’s because Newport is going to Wembley. Wembley! It has earned a trip to the most glamorous stadium in England, the temporary home of Tottenham. And while it’s there, it’ll get a payday.

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A victory over Spurs on Saturday would have earned Newport $127,410, plus a shot at one or two more paydays in the fifth round. If its fifth-round match were selected as a TV game, that would have been worth $350,353. Matchday revenue would have depended heavily on opponent and game location.

Assuming Newport can’t hang with Spurs at Wembley, it won’t get that $127,400 in prize money. It won’t get the fifth-round TV money. But, assuming the replay is shown on TV, it will get $101,921. And it will be guaranteed 45 percent of ticket revenue from the night at Wembley. Even if the stadium is half-empty, Newport’s share will likely be over $1 million. That’s nothing to a club like Tottenham, but it’s hugely significant for one like Newport.

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The finances, of course, are little consolation for the players. They wanted to go as deep into the FA Cup as possible. They wanted Padraig Amond’s header to be a famous winner:


But the club will likely be just fine with the goal being one that guaranteed it a massive payday.

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Henry Bushnell covers global soccer, and occasionally other ball games, for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Question? Comment? Email him at henrydbushnell@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter @HenryBushnell.

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