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Irish FA closing in on golden £8m prize as Northern Ireland edge closer to Euro2016 finals

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Cash boost: Irish FA president Jim Shaw eyes Euro jackpot

Cash boost: Irish FA president Jim Shaw eyes Euro jackpot

Photopress Belfast

Cash boost: Irish FA president Jim Shaw eyes Euro jackpot

The Irish Football Association are still on course for the biggest financial windfall in their history if Northern Ireland qualify for the Euro 2016 finals.

It is estimated that the IFA would be in line for a stunning £8 million jackpot which could rise to £10 million depending on how Michael O'Neill's team do in the tournament in France.

The majority of the earnings would come from Uefa prize money for qualification which could be added to by gate receipts and television revenue from glamour friendlies plus endless merchandising opportunities.

In the past when Northern Ireland qualified for World Cups, football's governing body here were dealing in thousands of pounds.

The beautiful game, though, has become a massive financial beast since then and come the finals of Euro 2016, IFA officials will see millions flooding in to the Association's coffers.

Just for reaching Euro 2012, all 16 countries claimed a whopping £6.3 million.

It is expected it will be same or more four years later.

In the last European Championships, staged in Poland and Ukraine, even for drawing a group match teams were handed almost £400,000 and twice that for winning.

Reaching the quarter-finals, as England did, gave countries another £1.6million with numbers rising the further the progression.

Eventual victors Spain ended up with £18 million.

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Euro 2016 Qualifier - Northern Ireland Vs  Hungary at Windsor Park, Belfast.  Northern Ireland legend David Healy watching the match with fans.

Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye

Euro 2016 Qualifier - Northern Ireland Vs Hungary at Windsor Park, Belfast. Northern Ireland legend David Healy watching the match with fans. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye

J McLorn with his son David at Windsor Park. Pic: J McLorn

J McLorn with his son David at Windsor Park. Pic: J McLorn

Northern Ireland fans  during this evenings game at Windsor park.
Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press

Northern Ireland fans during this evenings game at Windsor park. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press

Northern Ireland fans  during this evenings game at Windsor park.
Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press

Northern Ireland fans during this evenings game at Windsor park. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press

Northern Ireland's fans during the game at Windsor Park in Belfast.  Photo David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press

Northern Ireland's fans during the game at Windsor Park in Belfast. Photo David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press

Pacemaker

Northern Ireland's fans during today's game at Windsor Park in Belfast.  Photo David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press

Northern Ireland's fans during today's game at Windsor Park in Belfast. Photo David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press

Pacemaker

Northern Ireland's fans before the game at Windsor Park in Belfast.  Photo David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press

Northern Ireland's fans before the game at Windsor Park in Belfast. Photo David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press

Pacemaker

Northern Ireland's fans before the game at Windsor Park in Belfast.  Photo David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press

Northern Ireland's fans before the game at Windsor Park in Belfast. Photo David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press

Pacemaker

Northern Ireland fans George King with twin son's Mason and Christain before the match against Hungary during Monday night's UEFA EURO 2016 Group  F Qualifier at the National Football Stadium, Windsor Park, Belfast. Picture by Brian Little/Presseye

Northern Ireland fans George King with twin son's Mason and Christain before the match against Hungary during Monday night's UEFA EURO 2016 Group F Qualifier at the National Football Stadium, Windsor Park, Belfast. Picture by Brian Little/Presseye

Northern Ireland fans (L-R) Charlotte Cummings with her father Paul and sister Zoe from Antrim. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye

Northern Ireland fans (L-R) Charlotte Cummings with her father Paul and sister Zoe from Antrim. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye

Mason King (12) with his father George King, twin brother Christian and Daren Leighton from Donegal Pass. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye

Mason King (12) with his father George King, twin brother Christian and Daren Leighton from Donegal Pass. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye

Northern Ireland fans (L-R) Ethan Gibson(14), Lewis Orr-McCauley(16), Mathew Gibson(12), Samantha Orr-McCauley(6) and Grant Orr-McCauley(11). Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye

Northern Ireland fans (L-R) Ethan Gibson(14), Lewis Orr-McCauley(16), Mathew Gibson(12), Samantha Orr-McCauley(6) and Grant Orr-McCauley(11). Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye

Northern Ireland v Hungary at Windsor Park, Belfast.  Northern Ireland fans Mark Paul with his son Rhys and Gary from Newtownabbey. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye

Northern Ireland v Hungary at Windsor Park, Belfast. Northern Ireland fans Mark Paul with his son Rhys and Gary from Newtownabbey. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye

Northern Ireland fan Daniel Gracey (5) Ballymoney during Monday night's UEFA EURO 2016 Group  F Qualifier at the National Football Stadium, Windsor Park, Belfast. Picture by Brian Little/Presseye

Northern Ireland fan Daniel Gracey (5) Ballymoney during Monday night's UEFA EURO 2016 Group F Qualifier at the National Football Stadium, Windsor Park, Belfast. Picture by Brian Little/Presseye

Buddy and Mylo watching at home. Photo: Kristine Hill

Buddy and Mylo watching at home. Photo: Kristine Hill

David McLorn before going to Windsor Park. Photo: J McLorn

David McLorn before going to Windsor Park. Photo: J McLorn

Rory Beattie (8 months) getting ready to watch the match. Photo: Linda Taylor

Rory Beattie (8 months) getting ready to watch the match. Photo: Linda Taylor

Husband and wife Neil and Lorainne Fentie  are looking forward to the big match against Hungary at Windsor Park. Picture Matt Bohill.

Husband and wife Neil and Lorainne Fentie are looking forward to the big match against Hungary at Windsor Park. Picture Matt Bohill.

Northern Ireland fans Matthew Kernaghan, James Abraham, Ryan Blakely and Ben Speers cant wait for the big match at Windsor Park. Photo: Matt Bohill Pacemaker Press.

Northern Ireland fans Matthew Kernaghan, James Abraham, Ryan Blakely and Ben Speers cant wait for the big match at Windsor Park. Photo: Matt Bohill Pacemaker Press.

Little Jake Quinn who is to lead out the Hungarian national team at Windsor Park cheers on Northern Ireland on top of his dad Graham Quinn's shoulders. Picture Matt Bohill Pacemaker Press.

Little Jake Quinn who is to lead out the Hungarian national team at Windsor Park cheers on Northern Ireland on top of his dad Graham Quinn's shoulders. Picture Matt Bohill Pacemaker Press.

Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill ahead of the match against Hungary during Monday night's UEFA EURO 2016 Group F Qualifier at the National Football Stadium, Windsor Park, Belfast. Picture by Brian Little/Presseye

Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill ahead of the match against Hungary during Monday night's UEFA EURO 2016 Group F Qualifier at the National Football Stadium, Windsor Park, Belfast. Picture by Brian Little/Presseye

Northern Ireland Niall  McGinn, Stuart Dallas and Josh Magennis ahead of the match against  Hungary    during Monday night's UEFA EURO 2016 Group  F Qualifier at the National Football Stadium, Windsor Park, Belfast. Picture by Brian Little/Presseye

Northern Ireland Niall McGinn, Stuart Dallas and Josh Magennis ahead of the match against Hungary during Monday night's UEFA EURO 2016 Group F Qualifier at the National Football Stadium, Windsor Park, Belfast. Picture by Brian Little/Presseye

Northern Ireland players during Sundays training session at Windsor Park ahead of Monday nights Euro 2016 Qualifier against Hungary.

Northern Ireland players during Sundays training session at Windsor Park ahead of Monday nights Euro 2016 Qualifier against Hungary.

?William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 06th September 2015  Photo by William Cherry

Northern Ireland players during Sundays training session at Windsor Park ahead of Monday nights Euro 2016 Qualifier against Hungary.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 06th September 2015 Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland players during Sundays training session at Windsor Park ahead of Monday nights Euro 2016 Qualifier against Hungary.

?William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 06th September 2015  Photo by William Cherry

Hungary manager Bernd Storck during Sundays training session at Windsor Park ahead of Monday nights Euro 2016 Qualifier against Northern Ireland.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 06th September 2015 Photo by William Cherry Hungary manager Bernd Storck during Sundays training session at Windsor Park ahead of Monday nights Euro 2016 Qualifier against Northern Ireland.

?William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 06th September 2015  Photo by William Cherry

Hungary players during Sundays training session at Windsor Park ahead of Monday nights Euro 2016 Qualifier against Northern Ireland.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 06th September 2015 Photo by William Cherry Hungary players during Sundays training session at Windsor Park ahead of Monday nights Euro 2016 Qualifier against Northern Ireland.

?William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 06th September 2015  Photo by William Cherry

Hungary players during Sundays training session at Windsor Park ahead of Monday nights Euro 2016 Qualifier against Northern Ireland.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 06th September 2015 Photo by William Cherry Hungary players during Sundays training session at Windsor Park ahead of Monday nights Euro 2016 Qualifier against Northern Ireland.

?William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 06th September 2015  Photo by William Cherry

Hungary manager Bernd Storck during Sundays training session at Windsor Park ahead of Monday nights Euro 2016 Qualifier against Northern Ireland.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 06th September 2015 Photo by William Cherry Hungary manager Bernd Storck during Sundays training session at Windsor Park ahead of Monday nights Euro 2016 Qualifier against Northern Ireland.

?William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 06th September 2015  Photo by William Cherry

Northern Ireland's Stuart Dallas during Sundays training session at Windsor Park ahead of Monday nights Euro 2016 Qualifier against Hungary.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 06th September 2015 Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland's Stuart Dallas during Sundays training session at Windsor Park ahead of Monday nights Euro 2016 Qualifier against Hungary.

?William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 06th September 2015  Photo by William Cherry

Hungary manager Bernd Storck during Sundays training session at Windsor Park ahead of Monday nights Euro 2016 Qualifier against Northern Ireland.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 06th September 2015 Photo by William Cherry Hungary manager Bernd Storck during Sundays training session at Windsor Park ahead of Monday nights Euro 2016 Qualifier against Northern Ireland.

?William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 06th September 2015  Photo by William Cherry

Northern Ireland's Chris Baird during Sundays training session at Windsor Park ahead of Monday nights Euro 2016 Qualifier against Hungary.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 06th September 2015 Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland's Chris Baird during Sundays training session at Windsor Park ahead of Monday nights Euro 2016 Qualifier against Hungary.

?William Cherry / Presseye

Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill (right) at this morning's training session - Hungary awaits. Picture - David Hunter.

Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill (right) at this morning's training session - Hungary awaits. Picture - David Hunter.

Hungary on the horizon as Northern Ireland train at Windsor Park. Picture - David Hunter.

Hungary on the horizon as Northern Ireland train at Windsor Park. Picture - David Hunter.

Euro 2016 Qualifier - Northern Ireland Vs Hungary at Windsor Park, Belfast. Northern Ireland legend David Healy watching the match with fans. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye

Apart from the finance to be gained from qualification, there are other areas in which the IFA can maximise revenue.

It would mean some glamour friendlies coming to Belfast in 2016 with Northern Ireland now becoming a much more attractive proposition for bigger nations.

Money will also be made from merchandising.

Shirt sales alone would rocket ahead of the finals in France, while the players themselves and manager O'Neill would also get a piece of the pie with bonuses handed out for qualification.

Belfast Telegraph


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