I won’t speak for everyone here at Ibrox Noise but to say I didn’t expect us to get this far in the Europa League is a bit of an understatement. Now that’s not to say I didn’t have faith in the team or indeed in Stevie Ger but I just didn’t dare to think it was possible. Who last year would even have begun to comprehend it. Stuck in a limbo, disastrous results. First it was Caixinha who none of us here had any faith in, rightly so. Then Murty, I don’t need to say any more about him do I?
Now we have Stevie Gerrard, we’re sitting top, that’s ‘top’ of our Europa league group. Two games down it’s something I didn’t quite expect to see. Isn’t it a lovely sight? First year back and we have had some damn unexpected results. The draw away to Villarreal is something I absolutely didn’t believe we could do.
We could have kissed Lafferty on that night. We’ve already covered Thursday’s fantastic win at Ibrox, as she starts to resemble a fortress again. Now with the results comes something else, a bonus you could say; money, and a fair chunk of it. You don’t have to be an accountant (although I am) to know these results in Europe are bringing in a healthy financial boost. So I started to wonder just how much money we’ve started to generate.
By getting past Shkupi, then Osijek courtesy of a priceless away goal, then onto Maribor and that long trip to Russia to face Ufa we’ve enhanced the coffers. We worked doggedly in those games and strived for the wins. Not all the football was pretty, of course, but what we did get out of it was €2.92m for the group stage default.
Then came Villarreal, now as I’ve said I totally didn’t expect to get any result in Estadio de la Cerámica. With that draw obviously came the bonus of some cash. From that draw, as is standard UEL prize money, we happened to receive €190,000. Now on to Thursday’s game at The Fortress; I might actually start to call her that the way results at home are going. That sweet win over Rapid Vienna (yes, I still call them Vienna too) earned us €570,000. So far 10 games have bagged us €3.68m which translates to £3.23m.
We’ve had our negative moments here on Ibrox Noise but that type of cash injection is always a good thing. Now it’s onto Spartak Moscow later in the month and, with any luck, effort and downright good play we could net ourselves a lot more. That’s before we even think about getting to the last 32 which would hand us €500,000 and that is a heck of a lot of cash to be playing for.
Obviously it’s not quite UCL levels yet, but it’s millions, and that’s millions we weren’t getting in years gone past.
Least we can pay that face painter now eh…