How Linfield can pocket over €1m in European prize money as Irish League set for huge cash bonus
Irish League clubs are on course to bank anything from £1.3m to a realistic £2.3m jackpot in prize-money from their European campaigns after the draws in Nyon.
UEFA have confirmed that this year's solidarity payments will remain very similar to that which clubs received last season.
So bearing that in mind after the Euro draws have handed our clubs some winnable ties, here's the money that the Irish League clubs in European competition this summer can expect to gain:
Danske Bank Premiership champions Linfield will pocket at least £712,000* (€800k) as they are guaranteed a minimum of four matches. This comes from their appearance fees for two rounds and a bonus €260k that is paid to all domestic champions who fail to qualify for the group stages of either European competition.
If the Blues were to win their Champions League first qualifying round tie against Rosenborg, that figure would rise to £818,000 (€920k).
There could be a silver lining to defeat to the Norwegian champions, however, as that would lead to a more winnable Europa League tie, likely against Faroe Islands champions HB Torshavn. Now, if Linfield could win that tie, it would take their total European prize money to £960k (€1.08m).
The Crues have been drawn against B36 Torshavn in the Europa League first qualifying round and will fancy their chances of winning that tie to earn what should be a lucrative tie against Premier League side Wolves.
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The Crues will pocket at least £213,000 (€240k) but a win over B36 and their prize money will rise to £445,000 (€500k). That's before we take into account what would no doubt be a sold-out Seaview when Wolves come to down, coupled with any TV money that may come off the back of the draw.
Ballymena United enter the Europa League before the Crues, in the preliminary round. There, they take on NSI Runavik and will also view it as a winnable tie. United will pocket at least £195,000 (€220k) but winning one round will set up a tie against Malmo and bring their fee up to £409,000 (€460k).
The Reds, like United, are in at the preliminary round stage, where they face Welsh opposition in the form of Barry Town. They're in the same position as Ballymena in that they will get £195,000 for appearing in the opening round but can up that prize money to £409,000 by setting up a first qualifying round tie against Norwegian side Haugesund.
Those figures all mean that the Irish League clubs will pocket a bare minimum of £1.315m (€1.48m). Thanks to the winnable ties the teams face, that figure could realistically rise as high as £2.22m (€2.5m). And this before gate receipts and any other income is taken into account.
*Sterling figures are all subject to exchange rate as prize money is awarded in Euros. Current figures based on exchange rate of €1 to £0.89.
The figures involved underline the need for the league to win back the third Europa League place it is set to lose next summer.