Belfast Telegraph

Hoops duels are worth much more than just money, says Windsor chief

 

By Steven Beacom

Linfield vice-chairman Jonathan Wilson has insisted that the Champions League tie with Celtic is about much more than money to the Blues even though they are set to land their biggest ever pay-day.

Turnover could reach up to £1m for Linfield with Uefa prize money, gate receipts, TV rights, merchandising and advertising.

The Blues are guaranteed around £700,000 for reaching the second qualifying round and while the Windsor attendance for Friday's first leg will be down on an 18,000 sell-out due to security and Celtic not taking up their allocation there should still be around 10,500 spectators in the ground.

The Irish League champions will also be paid over £50,000 by Premier Sports to show the game.

Wilson said: "This is not a cash cow for us. It's a big game and a big occasion but there is a lot of cost associated with putting on a game of this magnitude too.

"It is more important than money. At no stage have we approached this from a financial perspective. We approached it from two key aspects; the footballing aspect and having this pass off as an enjoyable experience."

Linfield are expected to take 1,500 fans to next Wednesday's second leg in Parkhead. Initially, they were offered 1,000 tickets but a request for more was granted.

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