Reds and Sky Blues share £800k Euro bonus
Ballymena United and Cliftonville each pocketed a handy £400,000 boost after they progressed to the first round of Europa League qualifying last night.
Ballymena were first through after a scoreless second leg draw confirmed their 2-0 aggregate win over NSI Runavik, thanks to a last-gasp defensive stand in the Faroe Islands.
Half an hour later, Cliftonville followed them into the next round after goals from Conor McMenamin, Joe Gormley, Rory Donnelly and Conor McDermott handed them an emphatic 4-0 victory over Welsh side Barry Town at Solitude, winning by the same scoreline on aggregate.
The Sky Blues now have a glamour money-spinning tie against Swedish giants Malmo to look forward to next week, while the Reds are off to Norway to face FK Haugesund. Both sides have now seen their earnings rise from £195,000 to £409,000 each for reaching the next round, while their results will also greatly benefit Northern Ireland's Uefa co-efficient.