It is glory and pride first with cash a welcome bonus in boss Derek McInnes’ quest for Europa League group stage qualification.
Reaching the groups for the first time under McInnes would land the Dons almost £3 million in UEFA payments alone.
That cash pot will rocket up further with home gates, television revenue and hefty bonuses for wins and draws in the groups.
McInnes is a realist and accepts money is tight at Pittodrie with a £12m training complex set to open in September and a £45m stadium to be funded.
However, what he wants is the kudos and pride that comes with taking a club that once dominated Europe in the 1980s closer to the Euro elite.
As McInnes today jetted out with Aberdeen to face FC Chikhura Sachkhere in the searing heat of Georgia, that group stage target is what he aims to deliver.
McInnes said: “The respectability you get from reaching the group stages of the Europa league is what the fans want.
“That is worth more than money at times.
“In terms of respectability for the club, reaching the group stages would be fantastic.
“Aberdeen have a great tradition in European football and a lot of the highlights for our supporters have been in Europe.
“In my time here we have had some big games in Europe and some fantastic atmospheres.
“However, the additional money that comes with the groups could certainly help the club with what needs to be done.
“We are building a training ground and trying to build a stadium as well so there is a lot of money going out the way.
“Any money coming in would clearly be of a benefit to us both on and off the pitch. We could potentially go and earn £3m as a club for qualifying for the group stages.
“Plus you get the benefit of the four games in the qualifying rounds at home prior to groups.
“Money is tight at the minute, but what is clear from the club is we are trying to get a competitive team on pitch.
“We are trying to utilise what we have to spend by being as strong as we possibly can.
“Any additional money can make us stronger as a club both on and off the pitch.”
McInnes oversaw an overhaul of his squad during the summer in preparation for the bid to reach the group stages for the first time under his management.
This is the sixth successive season McInnes has led the Dons into Europe but they have yet to progress beyond the third qualifying round stage.
His budget allowed just one transfer fee in a summer window where eight players were signed, Funso Ojo arriving for £125,000 from Scunthorpe United.
Having signed after the UEFA deadline to register players for the first qualifying round, Ojo was ineligible to face RoPS Rovaniemi of Finland.
The former Belgian U21 international, 27, is set to make his Dons debut in Tbilisi.
The £125,000 paid to League Two Scunthorpe for the midfielder pales in comparison to what the Dons can yield from group stage qualification.
This season UEFA’s prize pot for the Europa League has increased by £45.2m to £460.1m.
The reward for reaching the group stages is £2.6m.
Once in the groups clubs are given £512,000 for each win and £170,000 per draw.
Additionally, each group winner will be awarded £900,000, with the runners-up getting £450,000. The money keeps coming, with clubs in the groups pocketing further funds from UEFA’s coefficient share, which stands at £75.52m in total for the Europa League for 2019-20.
Essentially that fund is split between the 48 clubs that have qualified for the group stages.
The pot is distributed in a sliding scale related to a club’s UEFA coefficient.
The club ranked bottom of the 48 will receive £65,000. The payment will rise incrementally with each position.
So if for example the Dons were ranked 38th they would receive £65,000 x 10 which equals £650,000. The club with the highest UEFA co-efficient that has qualified for the groups will receive £65,000 x 48, or £3.12m.
And that’s before TV and gate receipts are taken into account.
However, to access that pot the Dons have to negotiate another three rounds and six games, with teams from the Champions League also dropping down in later stages.
McInnes accepts money is tight, which is why he is grateful to the Dons board for their financial backing to build a squad he believes is capable of pushing for group stage qualification.
He said: “The club are trying so hard to achieve everything and we see the importance of the training ground and the new stadium.
“We are also trying to stay competitive on the pitch.
“We work closely with the board and are well aware that money is tight at the minute.
“We are well supported with the budget to try to put a squad together not only for these games but for the season.
“During the summer we made a number of significant signings.
“Financially the group stages would be brilliant and another tick on what we can do here.”