Belfast Telegraph

Local sides chasing glamour Euro clash with West Ham

A lucrative draw against English Premier League opposition is now a possibility for two of Northern Ireland's European representatives.

West Ham have confirmed they are to accept an invitation to play in the Europa League after earning a place through the fair play league and that could see them face either Glenavon or Glentoran in just six week's time.

Both Lurgan Blues boss Gary Hamilton and Glens chief Eddie Patterson would love to land a tie against the east London side in the draw, set to take place on Monday, June 22, which would inevitably net them an even bigger European windfall.

Already in line to collect a handsome £140,000 from Uefa for simply qualifying for the competition, a meeting with the Hammers could bring in upwards of a further £60,000 in gate receipts alone.

Should that happen for either of the Danske Bank Premiership clubs there is also potential for further income through broadcast revenue, with television sure to be interested in screening the game .

Linfield, who are also in the Europa League, can't draw West Ham as they will both be among the seeded teams in the first-round draw.

Four years ago Crusaders pulled out the plum draw in the same competition when they too made a trip to London.

Fulham, who had qualified through the same fair play route as West Ham have done this time, beat the Crues 7-1 on aggregate.

The Europa League contests will be the first games in charge for West Ham's new manager as the club searches for a replacement for Sam Allardyce, who didn't have his contract renewed by the club at the end of the season.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph