Cambridge United’s squad will have to pay out of their own pocket to replace any shirts traded with Manchester United’s stars in tonight’s FA Cup fourth-round match, says boss Richard Money.
The manager also warned players, including ex-United Premier League winner Luke Chadwick, that they will be shirtless if they attempt to make a half-time swap.
The Cambridge have an annual wage budget of just over £1million, similar to Wayne Rooney’s monthly salary, and players may have to pay £40 to buy new shirts from the club shop.
“If one of our players was trying to swap a shirt at half-time you could understand it, but they won’t as they wouldn’t have anything to wear in the second half,” said Money.
“We’re not wealthy enough to give any of our shirts away.’If they give their shirt away they’re going to have to replace it. Maybe the club will do it, I don’t know, but I’m not going to do it.
“In the Premier League they give their shirt away every game but I don’t understand why a top class player would want another top class player’s shirt at half-time.”
The FA Cup tie, which is being broadcast on BBC one, is expected to earn the League Two club around £250,000.
However, Cambridge have not increased tickets for their first appearance in the fourth round in 15 years, when they beat Wrexham 2-1 in 2000.
“This club has lost money for the last 10 years and has survived due to the generosity of individuals, who have the club at heart like the chairman, Dave Doggett,” said chief executive Jez George.
“They do it for a genuine love for the club. After a lot of years of finding it really tough maybe this tie is a bit of luck that the club’s deserved.”
Cambridge haven’t knocked out top-flight opposition since defeating Coventry after a replay during the 1991-92 season.
Main image courtesy of FATV via YouTube, with thanks.