Europa League qualification was a 'blessing' for Derry City: Declan Devine

Derry City boss, Declan Devine believes the club's qualification for the Europa League was a blessing.Derry City boss, Declan Devine believes the club's qualification for the Europa League was a blessing.
Derry City boss, Declan Devine believes the club's qualification for the Europa League was a blessing. | other
DECLAN DEVINE believes it’s a ‘blessing’ Derry City Football Club qualified for the Europa League on the final day of the 2019 campaign given the financial impact COVID-19 has had on League of Ireland clubs.

The turmoil of the last couple of months due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has plunged some League of Ireland clubs into financial crisis and Devine reckons Derry City is fortunate to have European prizemoney to fall back on.

City are expected to receive a financial windfall of at least £240,000 for qualifying for the first round of the Europa League and Devine believes that money has become crucial in helping with running costs given the current revenue deficit at the Brandywell club.

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”It’s a blessing we qualified for Europe,” said Devine. “If we hadn’t qualified for Europe it would’ve, financially, been a big hit to us.

“So it was key we actually did get Europe when you look back on it because that’s the money which is going to be paying players’ wages for the next few weeks I’d imagine.”

It’s not yet confirmed whether UEFA will scrap the opening rounds of the qualifiers whenever football eventually resumes across Europe with the governing body currently analysing all options to complete domestic and European seasons.

A spokeperson for UEFA yesterday said there had been no developments or decision made on the matter as they continue to consider 'several calendar options'.

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"The working group composed of representatives from UEFA, the ECA and European Leagues is currently examining several calendar options," said a UEFA spokesperson. "No decision has been taken at this stage regarding the resumption and/or conclusion of the current season."

However, despite the lack of clarity, Devine is hopeful Derry City will receive its prize money regardless.

“You just don’t know what’s going to happen, nobody knows,” Devine said. “The thing is, are they going to wipe out the first two qualifying rounds and increase the money for clubs involved?” questioned the City boss. “I don’t know.

“What they would have to do is, everybody who would miss out, they would have to pull the money together and split it up among all the clubs.

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“So, in that case, you would still get your qualifying money which is ultimately what it was all about in the first place.”

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