The recent controversy surrounding the issue of Linfield's contract with the IFA and the letter to UEFA's president Michele Platini from Glentoran FC is very interesting. Glentoran's contention is that Linfield has an advantage over other Irish League clubs because of the revenue it receives from international games.
No one has mentioned the vast amount of money Linfield spends in preparing for an international, the monetary outlay to stage it and the cost in providing a surface required by FIFA standards.
If Linfield has an unfair advantage, I would like to ask who are the current Irish League champions? Who has the biggest wage bill in the league and who can afford to have a £1,000-per-week international player in their squad? The answer is not Linfield.
UEFA, quite rightly, cannot interfere in the internal affairs of a member country and the reality is that in his answer Michele Platini has sent Glentoran away with a flea in their ear. Glentoran did not get the response they hoped, contrary to their up-beat statement.
It'll be interesting to see what Glentoran's contractual demands will be if their new Sydenham stadium plays host to the Northern Ireland Under-21 team and the IFA centre of excellence. Will they share their pot of gold to the benefit of Northern Ireland football?