Irish squad agree to reduced bonuses

The Irish squad has agreed to a Euro 2012 qualification bonus deal which amounts to less than the squad received for qualifying for the World Cup in 2002, according to the players and the FAI.

Agreement was reached at a meeting this week, as a result of which there has been a reduction in the figures which were paid when the Republic reached the finals in Japan and Korea ten years ago.

An FAI statement issued on behalf of the players and the association said: “The Football Association of Ireland and the players have confirmed that they agreed qualification bonuses after a constructive and brief meeting on Monday.

“During the discussions, the players emphasised the immense honour and pride which they feel in representing the country through this and previous campaigns.

“The players thanked the FAI for their professionalism and the preparations which are made around the international squad.

“In recognition of the wider economic climate, the players were happy to agree to a reduction in qualification payments made in 2002.

“On behalf of all strands of the sport, the Football Association of Ireland thanks the players for their readiness to accept a reduction and for their determination to avoid the use of external agents during direct talks which were conducted in an atmosphere of trust and mutual understanding.”

Skipper Robbie Keane had signalled that an announcement about the deal was imminent at Tuesday’s pre-match press conference ahead of Wednesday’s friendly against the Czech Republic, saying that the meeting with the FAI had been amicable and positive.

And yesterday, even before the official announcement was made, Giovanni Trapattoni confirmed that a deal had been done.

Last night, the FAI declined to confirm the figures involved, against the background of reports suggesting that the players would receive €1 million in settlement for qualification and outstanding match fees, with the possibility of earning as much again in performance-related payments depending on how they fare at the finals in June.


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