Sky cameras give United a handy £10,000 bonus
THE news that Torquay United's 'return' Devon derby at Exeter City next month is to be televised live on Sky Sports has given the Gulls a welcome financial boost in the wake of last Saturday's Plainmoor postponement against the Grecians.
United will collect £10,000 as their share of TV money when they meet City at St. James' Park on Monday, January 28.
It may not sound like a king's ransom – Exeter will receive £30,000 as the home club – but it's still important extra income.
And it could prove even more helpful as manager Martin Ling prepares for the January Transfer Window to reopen.
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"We budget very tightly here," said United's managing director Bill Phillips.
"So, since we get excited when we receive £10,000 from Peterborough because (former United goalkeeper) Bobby Olejnik has played another ten games there, it's no different when we're in line for £10,000 we hadn't expected from the Sky game at Exeter."
United and City had sold around 4,000 tickets between them in advance, and the Gulls were looking forward to a 5,000-gate for last weekend's scheduled derby against City at Plainmoor.
But, despite the best efforts of groundstaff teams from both clubs, the rain did for them all.
Match referee Craig Pawson, who's from Sheffield, stayed in Bristol on Friday night, but he was at Plainmoor on Saturday morning and, by the time he made his first inspection just before 11am, the writing was in the mud, so to speak.
They would have struggled to play even two days later.
Financially, a derby being called off might not produce as big a drop in earning as another Saturday fixture.
"The majority of the people who have got their Exeter tickets and paid for them are very likely to reappear for the next game," said Phillips.
"And we should still get a decent walk-up gate when we do play, especially if our results have gone well between now and then.
"The bigger loser in a way is the Rotherham game, which we've had to move from a Saturday (Jan 5) to a Tuesday night (Feb 12).
"We definitely won't get as good a crowd in midweek as we would have done on a Saturday."
The original Rotherham date is no longer available, because the Millers are involved in the Third Round of the FA Cup.
Torquay and Exeter are still haggling over a new date for the Plainmoor fixture.
It should be sorted out by the end of this week.