European football is still seen as the pinnacle of achievement for many p layers, clubs and managers.
The Champions League is the gold standard, but dominated by the wealthiest clubs and it is the lesser Europa League that offers a realistic prospect for clubs of more modest means to achieve the glamour and status of European ties.
But as St Johnstone have found out, the Europa League can be a mixed blessing. Last year despite fine onfield form which yielded a third place league finish and creditable results against Turkish side Eskisehir in Europe, the club lost nearly £200,000. This year's bold success against Rosenborg and subsequent exit at the hands of FC Minsk may have led to a limited uplift in gate receipts, but this must be set against hefty travel costs.
Three of last year's four Europa League semi-finalists faced financial problems, and no wonder when winning the tournament is worth less than merely qualifying for the Champions League, and attracts a fraction of the TV revenue.
The phased introduction of Fifa's financial fair play rules may yet make a difference, but the gulf between football's haves and have-nots remains as wide and unbreachable as ever.
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