STANLEY boss John Coleman is urging the fans to make tonight’s home clash with Darlington a sell-out as they look to raise the cash to pay off their £308,000 tax bill.
The Reds had organised to play the bottom club Quakers on a Friday night after the fixtures came out but Coleman admits the switch from Saturday has been a blessing in disguise as they strive to raise the funds to save the club in the next two months.
Fans from Bury, Morecambe, Blackburn and Burnley have pledged to visit the Crown Ground, with a capacity of 5,057, and lend their support to the cash-strapped Reds.
The club are hoping to have raised close to £100,000 through Tuesday’s fundraiser at Burnley, supporters collections, donations and tonight’s gate money.
Staff and players at the club are donating their day’s wages to the cause while many Stanley season ticket holders have said they will pay tonight.
"The Burnley friendly helped a lot with the bill and we hope a lot of people will come tonight and support the club," said Coleman, who has managed Stanley for 10 years. "It was by accident that it’s on a Friday but it could not have worked out better with a lot of fans from other clubs having the chance to support us. I think it will probably be our biggest crowd of the season and that’s good for the future of the club.
"The Burnley game and tonight’s should make a big dent in the money owed but we have got to keep the push going and keep the initiatives in the local and national news over the next seven weeks. We need to get out of this as soon as possible and it will then make my job easier."
And Coleman is hoping his side can turn on the style tonight and build on their 2-0 win at Bury on Saturday. He said: "My job is to win games and get the people who come for the first time to want to come again and feel they are getting value for money.
"It’s up to me to get winning, entertaining football and make people want to spend their hard-earned money on watching Accrington."
Coleman admitted the last week, when the news first broke that the club had two months to survive if they didn’t pay the bill, has been hard but has been heartened by all the fund-raising efforts.
"This football club is a lot of people’s lives. I have chatted to people who have talked of the despair they felt when Accrington went out of the league in 1962 and the delight when we made it back into the league.
"People get blase and says it’s only a football club but it is a lot of people’s lives. Our fans make a lot of noise and they are not a lot in number but they are loud. It’s their lives and they deserve a football club. Some people think this football club has gone far as it can with achieving league football - I feel there is another chapter."
- TICKET PRICES: £13 adult; £8 concessions; £1 Under 12s.