`Opportunistic` Hartlepool to get 50K

Last updated : 16 April 2013 By Luke Thornhill

SKY contacted Scunthorpe United and Carlisle United yesterday morning to say that they wanted to screen next week's FA Cup replay live.

This meant that the Iron's scheduled third division game at Hartlepool on Friday night had to be moved back to THE ORIGINAL date, it will now be played on Saturday.

United had offered to play two games in 24 hours, but this is not permitted under FA Rules.

"I think since the demise of ITV Digital, it has brought home to all clubs the need to generate more revenue," said United's chief executive Don Rowing.

"Once the opportunity comes along, we have to take it and when Sky rang yesterday morning we were very excited.

"To be told then that we couldn't change the Hartlepool game was very disappointing, we have been involved in very drawn-out discussions with Carlisle and Hartlepool."

The Hartlepool United chairman was unavailable all day, meaning the two clubs had to deal with their financial director.

They refused to move the match, claiming they would lose out on sponsors.

The first offer was £10K from both Scunthorpe and Carlisle, which they refused.

The second offer was £10K plus compensation for sponsors from both Scunthorpe and Carlisle, which they refused.

The third offer was £12.5K from both Scunthorpe and Carlisle, which they refused.

At five to five Hartlepool faxed each club saying they would agree if each club paid £25K, an offer the two clubs accepted.

"I cannot say much about their chairman as I have never spoken to him, and probably never will, but I cannot help but feel that we are victims of an opportunist who managed to perform an act of legal extortion," said Courtney tonight on CUFC Online.

"In this day and age with third division clubs fighting for survival under all the pressures to find one of our own prepared to use this advantage to his own end is despicable."