Macclesfield Town’s FA Cup first-round tie against Kingstonian will go ahead on Sunday despite the Silkmen’s players going on strike over unpaid salaries.
Wages for October are still to be paid to players and staff, but the club intend for the fixture to go ahead as planned, fielding a youth team, if first-team players refuse to play.
Macclesfield’s place in the competition for both this season and 2020-21 would be at stake if the game was called off.
The strike is the latest move taken by players.
Macclesfield Town have previously been taken to court by players over unpaid wages and, in May, under then manager Sol Campbell, they considered boycotting the final match of last season for similar reasons.
FA Cup rules state that an unsatisfactory reason for withdrawing from the competition could see a club barred from participating the following season.
The regulations say the Football Association’s Professional Game Board, which makes decisions on the organisation and management of the FA Cup, “shall take such action as it deems appropriate” where a club fails to fulfil a fixture.
Money earned in the competition has previously helped Macclesfield survive.
While defeat in the first round would earn the club nothing, getting through to round two is worth £36,000 in prize money.
Meanwhile, local businessman Joe Sealey, the son of former Manchester United goalkeeper Les, told BBC Radio Manchester on Friday he had put an official offer in to buy the beleaguered club.