RAITH Rovers have landed a Scottish Cup jackpot after it was confirmed that their glamour tie against Celtic will be broadcast on live television.
BBC Scotland announced last Friday that it will bring its cameras to Stark’s Park on Sunday, February 3 - a decision that will net the Kirkcaldy club in excess of £80,000.
With a near sell-out crowd also expected, combined TV money and gate receipts could see the club pocket a six-figure sum.
Chairman Turnbull Hutton described the windfall as “like winning the pools”, but warned fans that the money will not be invested in the first team.
Rovers last set of financial accounts showed losses of £162,000 for the year to June 30, 2011, with an overall liability of £1.4m.
“It’s a six-figure sum that can come off the debt,” he explained.
“As we’ve said numerous times, the much-lauded takeover back in 2005 was never properly funded.
“We only replaced old debt with new debt, and we’ve been stuck in a pit ever since.
“We’ve cut playing budgets and office staff, but the fan base has dropped because of the recession.
“We’ve been keeping the club going on a wing and a prayer.
“This game is an unexpected windfall but that money will not be spent on a push for promotion, or given to Grant Murray to spend.
“It will be used to tidy up pieces of debt and settle some bills to creditors.
“It won’t get us out of the pit but it will be a big help.”
Rovers path to the fifth round has been particularly tense.
They needed an injury-time equaliser from Greig Spence to earn a replay against Airdrie in the third round, before winning the return tie in extra time 4-3.
It also took a late Brian Graham free-kick to defeat Highland League Deveronvale at home in round four.
Celtic also scraped through their fourth round tie against Arbroath, winning 1-0 in a replay at Gayfield after a 1-1 draw at Parkhead.
Hutton added: “You don’t budget for a cup run and for TV games, but we told Grant how important it could be for the club.
“He and the players have done magnificently to get us this far and now the club will reap the rewards.”
Tickets for the match went on sale this week and fans formed long queues at the Stark’s Park office to book their seat for the big tie.
The next opportunity to buy tickets from Stark’s Park will be before and after the Cowdenbeath game on Saturday, December 29. Tickets are also currently on sale online from livesport.co.uk.
Pre-match hospitality is available at O’Connells and Victoria Hotel at £60 a head - and is selling fast.
For details contact Raith’s commercial co-ordinator Laura Jarvis via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.