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Football could be the loser in Windsor Park court case

Be careful what you wish for... having won the right to legally challenge the government's £25m funding of the Windsor Park redevelopment project, Crusaders need to carefully consider where they go from here.

Do they now proceed apace with their case that government money for Windsor could unfairly extend Linfield dominance in local football (Cliftonville might have something to say about that)? The argument is that it would give an unfair advantage to a club already in a financially dominant position.

So, if Crusaders win their day in court, does that mean we go back to the status quo that put Linfield in such a position... with IFA money still pouring into Windsor as international ground rent?

The losers would not be Linfield but Northern Ireland international football, stuck in a decaying age-old stadium while rugby and gaelic games prosper in the new surroundings of Ravenhill and Casement, provided from the same government pot.

That is surely not what Crusaders had in mind when they set this ball rolling? Who hasn't had state aid? If that is declared illegal, God help sport here, never mind football.

There is a case to be answered with regard to the destination of funding in football, as Mr Justice Treacy found.

But surely the place to thrash this out is in the football corridors of power and not the courts of law with the attendant legal costs?

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From the outside it looks like money going out of football to stop money coming into football. It would be a hollow victory... Crusaders just might get it; the rest of football certainly won't.


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