ALAN MATHEWS admitted that emulating Shamrock Rovers in Europe is also chasing the Euro.
St. Patt play CSKA Sofia in Talat tonight in their second leg of the European Conference League, leading 1-0 after their famous victory in Bulgaria last week.
Seeing a draw, they are advancing to play-offs against Bromby or Basel, who continue a good week of Irish football after Rovers secured group stage football on Tuesday night.
And it’s not just the fact that Richmond Park are playing at Dublin 24 because they don’t meet Uefa requirements that Saints technical director Matthew thinks about the hoops.
Nor do we see how important it is to win the next round if we are to catch up with our Dublin rivals at home.
Rovers’ Euro run means they have already amassed €3.3 million. This can be even higher. Meanwhile, Pat is looking to add another €300,000 to his €750,000 already in his pocket this evening.
Matthews admitted that Euro booty is very important for the club looking to make progress.
he said: If the club can progress in Europe and get a team of players…it’s the golden goose because it makes a huge difference in the revenue the club can generate here.
“That kind of money that’s available now is a lot of prize money to win leagues and win cups here.
“This is the type of revenue stream that you don’t get organically and you get by getting into that mix. There they are for all their accomplishments.
“Domestic, they can be influential by setting aside the budget to acquire the best players when they become available.
“Someone told me before, we have plans to go to the group stage, we have a long way to go to get to the group stage.
“The plan was to see if we could move forward in Europe.
“We want to go further and build from there.
“If we can make progress tonight, it will add another layer to that team.”
The Saints’ squad grew through their current European run as they beat Slovenian Mura on penalties before advancing to the second round and shocking CSKA in last week’s first leg.
It’s also a relatively new team with only three starters last week at the club at the end of last season.
But it’s also a team that got to know each other more than expected, having been stuck in Bulgaria last week.
A charter flight from Sofia they had arranged was cancelled, so the team had to fly home via London last weekend, with some players not returning until Sunday night.
That meant that the league clash with Shelbourne that day was not made with the FAI fixing the game.
But two extra days locked in a hotel under police protection after security advised it might not be safe to venture out meant spending more time together. .
Defender Tom Grivosti said:
“We recovered quite a bit in a few days and obviously there was a pool on site so it wasn’t the worst.
“After Slovenia, we were back all morning, so in terms of recovery, it was probably better for us.”
However, the Inchcore club have been training since Monday and are well prepared for tonight.
He added: we can do that.
“We had a very good performance last week. The players were very disciplined in and out of possession. We worked hard to let their chances pass.
“But we’re only at halftime and we need another big performance to make it through.”
https://www.thesun.ie/sport/9234030/st-patricks-athletic-generating-euros-from-european-exploits/ St. Pat’s technical director Alan Matthews admits that the Saints’ European achievements are also about making the euro.