Aberdeen boss Stephen Glass aims to land a multi-million-pound Euro group stage windfall to boost his summer transfer budget.
The Reds are just 180 minutes away from reaching the group stages of European competition for the first time since the UEFA Cup in 2007.
Standing in their way in the play-offs are Azerbaijan side Qarabag, with the first leg in Baku.
Qualification for the groups brings a base prize of €2,940,000 (£2.5m).
A win in the group phase pays €500,000 (£425,000), with a draw earning teams €166,000 (£140,000).
That cash jackpot would increase even further with gate receipts, sponsorship and television broadcast money.
Aberdeen will know their group stage Euro fate following the return tie at Pittodrie next Thursday – five days before the summer transfer window shuts.
The Dons wage bill has already been increased from last season despite the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
However, if they secure the group cash pot, Glass will approach chairman Dave Cormack and the Pittodrie board for an even bigger transfer kitty to boost the bid for success on both continental and domestic fronts.
Asked if qualifying for the groups would mean extra budget for the window, Glass said: “I hope so.
“Any cash that comes in is spread throughout the club, but we can affect how much comes in by getting to the group stages,.
“Then it gives you a little more scope to go asking for more to strengthen the group.
“But we know there’s backing from the chairman and the board if we can present the right options, so it’s important we continue to present the right options.”
Glass targets more signings in window
Should Aberdeen qualify for the lucrative group stages, it would ensure European football until December – with Glass having to balance Thursday Euro ties with domestic games at the weekend.
Glass restructured the squad during the summer, but insists he is not finished with the rebuild in this window and ideally wants more signings before the window shuts at the end of the month.
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— Aberdeen FC (@AberdeenFC) August 17, 2021
Group stage football would strengthen his argument when approaching chairman Cormack and the board for more funds.
He said: “At the start of the transfer window, you want to come out of it stronger.
“That’s going to continue to be the aim.
“We know what we’ve got and where we’d like to strengthen.
“Any manager would want to strengthen.”
Aberdeen wage bill increases this season despite financial hit of Covid-19
Pittodrie chairman Cormack recently revealed Aberdeen’s wage bill, which is £15m, has increased this season again, despite the financial impact of the pandemic.
The Dons have the third highest wage bill in the Premiership, but it still pales in comparison to Celtic’s £60m and Rangers’ £40m.
Glass insists group stage qualification, winning games and high attendances at Pittodrie can strengthen his argument to get more cash.
There was a 15,107 crowd inside Pittodrie for the 2-1 third qualifying round second leg defeat of Icelandic side Breidablik.
Aberdeen have made 18,000 tickets available for the return leg against Qarabag next Thursday and are hopeful of a sell-out.
He said: “Without the extra revenue of people coming through the gate, there’s no money to spend.
“So the performance of the team has been pretty good and the backing of the fans has been incredible.
“If we can continue winning and making Pittodrie a tough place to play for other teams, make it attractive for people to come and watch, it might give us scope to have a little bit more to spend.
“If we win games and end up in the group stages, it maybe gives us a little more power to ask for that.
“That gives you opportunities to make the group stronger.
“Historically there’s been backing at this club.
“It shows a belief also as a staff we can present the right options.
“It shows a belief there are going to be people coming to watch games and the team is doing the right things.”
The failed bid to land Martin Boyle
Cormack and the board gave Glass their backing by launching a £500,000 bid for Hibs winger Martin Boyle on Monday.
However, the Easter Road club immediately rejected that bid from one of their main Premiership rivals.
There was a release clause in the Australian international’s contract that he would be free to speak to any clubs that bid £500,000.
However, the clause only applied to clubs outside Scotland.
Just two days after Aberdeen’s failed bid Boyle, 28, signed a contract extension with Hibs tying him to the Easter Road club until summer 2024.
He's here to stay 😍
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Glass has a stance of refusing to talk about players at other clubs.
However, he did say if a target falls through they will quickly move on to another.
He said: “I don’t want to talk about players at other clubs.
“If we don’t get the targets we want, we move on to the next one.”