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Irish FA standing firm on refusal to give Uefa money to clubs

 

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There have been calls for the Irish FA to distribute UEFA money to the clubs in order to aid their recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

There have been calls for the Irish FA to distribute UEFA money to the clubs in order to aid their recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

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There have been calls for the Irish FA to distribute UEFA money to the clubs in order to aid their recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

The Irish FA are refusing to bow down to the demands of Linfield and other Irish League clubs concerned about the financial impact Covid-19 is having on domestic football in Northern Ireland.

At the weekend, Blues chairman Roy McGivern and Crusaders treasurer Tommy Whiteside called on the IFA to distribute Uefa Hat Trick programme funds.

This followed last month's Uefa announcement that they had released over £200m "to help its 55 member associations meet the challenges of Covid-19 in their respective countries".

The IFA's share is around £4m. Uefa would normally ask the IFA to use Hat Trick funding to cover the Association's running costs and help develop specific and targeted areas of domestic football. It is understood part of this is to fund the administration of football via the Northern Ireland Football League (NIFL).

Given the negative impact of the coronavirus on football at all levels, Uefa decided to allow each association to set their own priorities, leading to McGivern asking: "Why are more not calling for the IFA to redistribute some of the £3.7m Uefa Hat Trick money to keep local football afloat?"

Whiteside added: "It doesn't look as if the IFA are going to part with Uefa money because they think it's their own."

Asked for a response, an IFA spokesman said: "These are funds which have already been allocated to the organisation by Uefa pre the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic."

Such an answer is unlikely to wash with clubs here, some of whom have expressed fears about their financial future.

The IFA will point to the £16,000 they have already handed over to each Irish Premiership club during the pandemic, but clearly clubs do not feel it is enough. It is a debate which could run and run.

Belfast Telegraph