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Linfield to lobby First Minister over Windsor Park

By Steven Beacom

Published 15/10/2016

First Minister: Arlene Foster
First Minister: Arlene Foster

Linfield officials are hoping to hold talks with Northern Ireland First Minister Arlene Foster today to discuss the club's plans to put their own distinctive mark on the new-look Windsor Park.

Mrs Foster is a special guest at this afternoon's game between Linfield and Ballinamallard United, one week on from being at the official opening of the stadium when Northern Ireland defeated San Marino 4-0.

While there are scores of Northern Ireland images around the stadium, disgruntled Linfield fans feel there is little recognition of their team.

Linfield aim to change that later this month when they meet IFA Chief Executive Patrick Nelson and stadium officials, bringing forward designs and images which they believe should be placed around the ground.

What seems certain, given the stadium contract between the IFA and Blues, is that a sign will be placed at the South Stand end reading: 'Windsor Park, home of Linfield Football Club'. Whether or not images will go elsewhere in the stadium is up for debate.

Another issue likely to crop up in the Linfield boardroom today is the club's relationship with the IFA. Earlier this year the Belfast Telegraph revealed issues between the two parties over a range of matters.

Some at Linfield say the relationship remains strained while others feel it has improved.

A Linfield source said: "On Saturday I've no doubt our board will use the opportunity to bring Arlene up to date with our experiences so far of the stadium, our relationship with the IFA and how it can be taken forward for both parties.

"If the IFA agree to our image proposals around the ground it would be a massive step forward as a genuine shared stadium."

Belfast Telegraph

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