LATVIAN side Skonto Riga have tried to make a quick buck ahead of tonight’s Europa League battle with St Patrick’s Athletic by charging the Saints fans 100% more than home supporters have to pay for basic match tickets.
But Saints boss Liam Buckley hopes his side will be in the money at the end of this round as the Inchicore club chase the €200,000 on offer for progress to the second qualifying round.
The Saints have exited Europe at the first hurdle in the last two years but Buckley knows what’s at stake if his side can outwit Skonto.
“With the money on offer from Europe now these games are so important, getting through one round in Europe is worth double what you get for winning the league back home,” Buckley told The Herald after training in Riga last night. “The money is a major attraction and incentive for us, for all Irish clubs. The cash involved now, €200,000 to get through the tie, is a big thing for us and could have a big impact on next season in terms of contracts,” he added.