Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 September 2014

Irish FA president Raymond Kennedy's resignation won’t guarantee cash boost

Raymond Kennedy

Nelson McCausland is demanding more action from the Irish FA before agreeing to release £23 million of Government cash needed to redevelop Windsor Park as well as other vital funding.

The Sports Minister has warned the association that Raymond Kennedy’s resignation from the post of President, which came yesterday in the wake of a vote of no confidence at a council meeting on Monday night, isn’t enough to guarantee a huge handout from Stormont.

McCausland now wants a review of the association to be completed before any money will be awarded to football in Northern Ireland — at a time when such delays could have major consequences.

In a statement released by the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure, Mr McCausland said: “It is important that the confidence of government and the wider football community in the IFA is restored.

“I have asked for a radical, independent review of the organisation's structures and governance arrangements.

“Such a review will be essential in identifying the failings in the current arrangements — it is only when the problem has been identified that well informed solutions can be developed.

“The IFA has an obligation to all of us to get their house in order and they need to get started and move forward as a matter of urgency.”

Windsor Park is in dire need of improvement work, with the IFA having to install temporary seating for the 0-0 draw with Italy just less than a fortnight ago in order to maintain a capacity of 14,000, as some areas of seating the South Stand are now closed.

Kennedy is likely to be succeeded as President by Jim Shaw.

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