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Wright won’t see the money

By August 25, 2016No Comments

St Johnstone boss Tommy Wright admits he is unlikely to get his hands on the £200,000 UEFA bonus triggered by Celtic’s Champions League qualification.

Brendan Rodgers has helped land the Hoops a potential £30million jackpot after steering his team into the group stages of Europe’s top club competition.

But there is also a windfall for the rest of the Ladbrokes Premiership sides in the shape of a ‘solidarity payment’ handed out by the continent’s governing body.

The six-figure fee is a substantial sum to a club like Saints but manager Wright does not think chairman Steve Brown will allow him to splash out on the new striker he is desperate to land.

The Northern Irishman said: “It’s money we haven’t budgeted for but it’s not money I think I’m going to see.

“We’re looking at a situation where we need to get players out, so I can’t see much coming in at the minute.

“I’ve said for a while I’d like another striker in but we will have to wait and see. I don’t think it’s going to happen.”

Wright was pleased to see his compatriot Rodgers negotiate a tricky play-off round clash with Israeli champions Hapoel Be’er Sheva to book the Parkhead side’s place among Europe’s elite.

And he reckons the rest of the country should be getting behind Scotland’s last remaining European contestant – and not just because of the promise of future handouts.

“There is a financial benefit but you want all Scottish clubs to do well in Europe because it helps to lift the profile of our game,” said Wright.

“You achieve that by doing well. Rangers got to the final of the UEFA Cup not that many years ago. Celtic have had good results in the Champions League.

“We’ve had good results in the Europa League, although we haven’t been able to make the group stages. It’s a tough task to do.

“Aberdeen have also some good results and we want everyone to manage that sort of thing in these competitions.”

St Johnstone travel to Inverness this weekend to face a Caley Thistle side already under pressure following three straight league defeats – including last weekend’s 5-1 hammering by Hearts.

But Wright expects rookie boss Richie Foran to eventually get things right.

He said: “Richie has been about the club for a long time and has always been a big influence in the dressing room.

“He was in a position where the step-up should have been seamless for him and to be fair, in the Betfred Cup they were excellent.

“They just haven’t had much good fortune in the league games I’ve seen. But it’s early days yet. We’re only three games in and it’s too early to judge him.

“I’m sure he will get the players playing for him. I can see already he has enforced his own style on the team.

“We don’t want them to turn things around on Saturday but I do think he’ll do a good job.”

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