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Town On Course for Europa League
By: Rob Sedgwick
EUFA have announced that the winner of next month's FA Trophy between Grimsby and Halifax will qualify for the first preliminary round of the Europa League. Under a new directive the English FA have been instructed that the Trophy Winners will qualify because the Trophy is a national competition open to professional teams.
That means if Town overcome their Wembley Hoodoo then the Mariners will be swapping pre-season trips to the likes of Winterton and Brigg with journeys to countries such as Luxembourg, Denmark and Malta. Last year saw teams like Olympic Sarajevo, Progres Niederkorn, Shamrock Rovers and FK Bolux of Latvia all feature in the early rounds of the Europa League.
The EUFA ruling says: "As the English FA Trophy is a nationwide competition open to English professional teams, under rule 23.1 of our constitution, we recognise that this prestigious tournament stands alongside the FA Cup and League Cup in terms of entry qualifications. We look forward to welcoming the winner into the qualifying rounds of the Europa League".
Jon Mjadson, a football finance consultant, told the Fishy that Grimsby could expect to earn up to two million pounds if they make it through the first two rounds, although they'll face stiff competition from some of the top sides of the smaller nations on the continent. Jon also advised Grimsby fans travelling to the far flung corners of Europe to avoid the burgers and take their own toilet roll.
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