NEWPORT County AFC will get a much-needed £125,000 cash boost after their bid for a Carabao Cup upset against Newcastle United was chosen by Sky Sports.

The Exiles’ round four clash with the Magpies at Rodney Parade will be shown live on Wednesday, September 30 (kick-off 5.30pm).

Michael Flynn’s men have earned a shot at the Toon after knocking out Championship pair Swansea and Watford either side of a success against League Two rivals Cambridge United.

County have made it round four for the first time in their history but, unlike the FA Cup, the Carabao Cup doesn’t have prize money until the semi-finalists get £50,000.

Added to that, they have been denied matchday revenue for what would have been big crowds because the coronavirus pandemic means the fixtures have been behind closed doors.

The blow at missing out on what would probably have been a capacity crowd for Newcastle has been cushioned by the encounter being picked by the broadcaster, with chairman Gavin Foxall pleased that his post-Hornets lobbying paid off.

South Wales Argus:

“TV money is most welcome because the Carabao Cup doesn’t have prize money, although the exposure for the club is good and the cup run has been fantastic for the players,” he said.

“In the current environment it is very much welcome. You don’t ever budget for these things but when they come around it is significant, especially in this current climate.

“They call it football fortune money in the EFL and whatever terminology you want to use, it’s a windfall that hasn’t been budgeted for and it’s so welcome after the announcements this week about crowds not likely to be back for six months.

“There is a knock-on effect as well, there is TV money but also commercial money because of the coverage.”

The joy at being picked as a live game is tempered by the fact that the Amber Army won’t be able to cheer on Flynn’s side.

Rodney Parade was rocking for the wins against Leicester, Leeds, Blackburn and Middlesbrough plus the draw against Tottenham and spirited display against Manchester City’s stars.

South Wales Argus:

“It’s so disappointing that it’s going to be without a crowd because we would have sold it out,” said Foxall. “The Geordies travel well wherever they go and it would a great atmosphere, but this is not of anybody’s making and we just need to make the best out of a difficult situation.

“It’s a tie that speaks for itself – two Championship clubs have already gone, we have played some wonderful football and have a good pedigree in knocking over clubs.

“Newcastle seem to be taking the tournament seriously and it will be an interesting contest with the viewing audience that it deserves.”

County had been in discussions with the Welsh Government about putting themselves forward for one of the EFL pilot games with crowds.

Then Newport was put into lockdown and the UK government scrapped the socially-distanced experiments with games behind doors looking likely for the rest of 2020, and potentially up until spring.

South Wales Argus:

“Our plan is still as it was in essence, because we budgeted for being without crowds until January. That looks to have been pushed back a bit,” said Foxall.

“I am hopeful of the packages the EFL are looking at with the Premier League. The prime minister’s decision this week gives it more impetus – sport certainly needs assistance.

“It has upped the ante with the work that Rick Parry (EFL chairman) is doing to try and drive a rescue package.

“We set a very cautious budget based on the circumstances around (the first) lockdown. We had to cut our cloth accordingly and manage certain things.

“We were fortunate to have cup money (from past runs in the FA Cup) and have always been prudent with the allocation of that funding. That has been fruitful given the current climate where we don’t have the traditional incomes.

“We’ve also been able to sell season tickets with iFollow (streaming home games) and I’ve been really impressed with the way that League Two clubs have come together to help each other.

“We’ve all got challenges and similar issues and put aside rivalries that are only really for 180 minutes each season.”