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Irish players heading for Euro 2012 share a bonus worth €2m

THE Irish players heading for Euro 2012 this summer will share a bonus worth €2m, it's been revealed.

The squad who got us to our first major tournament in 10 years have already shared €1m.

And they will see this bonus double to €2m at the finals in Poland and the Ukraine.

The FAI paid almost €1m to the Ireland players for qualification.

Now they will share the extra money for the group games against Spain, Italy and Croatia. Potentially, they could earn even more if they manage to get out of the group of death.

All outstanding cash issues between the players and the FAI were sorted ahead of Ireland's 1-1 draw with the Czech Republic last night.

Captain Robbie Keane revealed at the pre-match press conference that the deal had been struck during “positive” negotiations. “There's no problem, it's all sorted,” he said. “It was a short meeting. It was amicable. Everything is positive.”

The bonus is divided between those who contributed to qualification, depending on how many games they played.

The FAI is expected to land €8m from UEFA for qualifying for the Euros.

The last time we made it to a tournament, the 2002 World Cup, each player pocketed €70,000 for qualifying – around €1.5m for the entire squad.

Ten years ago, Michael Kennedy, who represented a number of squad members, negotiated on their behalf.

This time around the players dealt with the FAI hierarchy directly.There were reports that an impasse had been reached in the negotiations between the players and the FAI but any concerns were put to bed by goalkeeper Shay Given.

“If we didn't get a penny or got hundreds of millions of pounds, it's not going to make a difference,” he said last month.

“We are all going to be there in Poland no matter what happens. Everything else is nonsense.”

Following their week-long stay in Italy, Trap's men will travel to Budapest for a friendly against Hungary on June 4.Ireland will begin their Euro 2012 journey against Croatia in Poznan on June 10, before taking on European power houses Spain and Italy.

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