Paying The Price Of Making The Knock Out Stages Of The Champions League
While there is big money going around for clubs involved in the Champions League, spare a thought for those whose qualifications costs them big bucks.
Glasgow City play their first game in the knock-out stages of the Champions League on Thursday. The excitement at the club for this achievment is tempered by the knowledge that they will have to meet a sizable bill for making it this far. This season is the fifth that the Scottish Women's champions have played in Europe and it has cost them money each and every time. While making it into Europe in the men's game sees club accountants smile for a change, reaching Europe on the distaff side of the game just means more money worries. Glasgow City, Bristol Academy and Arsenal have all made the same stage this year but only the latter named will not be worried about the bills incurred. Both Bristol and Glasgow are not linked with a club so will not be subsidised by the male side of the game. City welcome Icelandic side Valur to Glasgow and are hoping to make some inroads to the expenses likely to be incurred, as long as they are in Europe, with a bumper crowd at their Petershill Park ground. City's general manager Laura Montgomery said: "Being in Europe cripples us financially - we have to beg, borrow and steal to make ends meet. Our first round group tournament this year (in Serbia) cost us £15,000 and now we're trying to fill an £8,000 shortfall for this tie." While money is a sore subject, City are still keen to continue to be involved for as long as possible. Manager Eddie Wolecki Black said: "It's a fantastic achievement for an amateur team to reach the last 32, but we don't want it to end here. We've had Valur watched and we've analysed them, and they're a top team who'll make it very difficult for us. But we'll stick to our style of play and although we'll be seen as underdogs by most people, I believe we have a good chance of going through."Glasgow City players are also paying a high price in terms of free time as five of them were included in the national squad for the games against Finland last week. With league, cup, Champions League and internationals games taken into account some players could be playing a game every three days for the foreseeable future. And not making money along the way. Some of their male counterparts should take a reality check (and not cheque!) on being too tired to play.
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