KARI Arnason admits he’s dreaming of a Europa League tie with the Dons when football resumes.
The defender, who spent the 2011-12 and 2017-18 seasons with Aberdeen, had been gearing up for the start of the Icelandic football season – due on April
22 – prior to the coronavirus shutdown.
Arnason plays for Vikingur Reykjavik in his homeland and after winning the Icelandic Cup last year they are set to take part in Europa League qualifying.
The 37-year-old hopes upon the game’s resumption he may get to face the Reds in Europe.
Arnason said: “We were in the pre-season. We were doing really well and we were in good shape. We had only lost one goal in 10 games and we were looking good.
“It is a shame that the league was being put on hold when it was.
“We are also in the Europa League and have that to look forward to as well when the
football eventually returns. That is something to look forward to in the future.
“It is difficult for small teams in Europe and we just want to go in and do as well as possible, while trying to bring some revenue into the club.
“It would be lovely to get Aberdeen. It would be a tall order if we were to get them but in football you always have a chance.”
In Iceland the football association and government have already stepped in to help the nation’s football clubs survive this period.
Unlike in Scotland prize money has already been paid out to help clubs, but like players in this country Arnason and his team-mates have taken wage cuts.
He added: “KSI (Iceland FA) have agreed to pay out the majority of prize money to the clubs. They have paid out a big chunk of the money to the clubs that they would have got at the end of the season.
“I believe our clubs are also getting financial help from the government as well.
“We don’t have clubs the size of Celtic or Rangers but our clubs still pay a lot of money to our players and it has been hard for our clubs because the gate receipts have gone and football has gone at every level.
“We also have a youth set-up where parents pay for their children to play football and so there have been a lot of lost revenues at grassroots level as well. We need to find solutions and everybody is helping out.
“The government is helping out, the league is doing their bit and the players are also playing their part in taking wage cuts.
“Everyone is trying to keep football alive by all means necessary.
“We are a smaller association and we don’t need as much money as football in Scotland but it is still a challenge to look after all our clubs.
“Football is massive in Iceland like it is in Scotland. It is so important to the
people, not only the first teams but also down to the kids as well.
“I have taken a wage cut. I think every player has but I think that is only fair to our club and supporters that we take such action.
“It is not like we are training together as a team. We are putting the work in but on our own, like we would be if we were retired.
“Nobody is having to turn up for work so why should we expect our full wage?”