I'm not arguing with you. I acknowledge the financial disparity and I despair of UEFA's hypocrisy and mismanagement of the game. All I'm pointing out, as R or D posts about, is that a winning mentality is essential in any successful organisation.
You ask to do what? I would answer to be the best you can be. I don't think it's impossible for AFC to make the group stages necessarily but I think it's pretty impossible to compete if they ever did get there - which as you say would need a kind draw and top performances - because of the gulf in finances
In my opinion based on many years of experience, Aberdeen haven't been close to fulfilling the potential that the third biggest club in the country obviously has for a period coming up to 30 years now, and spanning the whole period of Milne's tenure. I don't think that this is an accident or misfortune. It's too early to say whether the new Aberdeen America Inc. will get closer to fulfilling potential but the correlation between the past chairman and the overall performance of the club both on and off the pitch for a quarter of a century was no bad accident. Specifically he did not recruit people in charge of "the product" who had the right mentalities, unsurprisingly as the football was never his primary concern and he himself was never made of the right stuff.
But to do what exactly? I'm not arguing against having a winning mentality, but that doesn't get you to Euro group stages does it? If it did we would see teams with much smaller budgets doing it all the time.
The reality is we don't see that. Europa league group stages aren't impossible. But it would require a kind draw all the way and top form in QR3 plus play off.