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Irish FA turn the spotlight on cash-strapped Premiership clubs

A financial alarm bell has been sounded by the Irish Football Association with the news that several clubs have been requested to submit monthly accounts as part of their Domestic Licence application for next season.

All 13 clubs who applied for a Licence came through the process successfully, while Ballinamallard United’s promotion to the top-flight was rubber-stamped with the acquisition of a Championship Licence, which permits the Fermanagh outfit — who have nominated Dungannon Swifts' Stangmore Park as their 'home' venue as a contingency plan should redevelopment work at their own Ferney Park drag beyond its anticipated completion date — a year's grace to comply with full Premiership standards.

It was, however, a concerning footnote from the IFA's Head of Club Licensing and Facilities, David McVeigh, that stood out in yesterday's announcement, warning that some clubs could have their status revoked in future unless they address fiscal worries.

He said: “A small number of clubs have exhibited financial warning signs in respect of going concern and the committee and the IFA staff shall be monitoring the ongoing month to month financial position of these clubs in detail, in order to both support the clubs in question and to ensure appropriate financial management is maintained.”

One such club is Glenavon who, just days after securing their Premiership safety in a nervy final-day encounter with Dungannon Swifts, yesterday released a statement which read: “The (IFA) committee did express its concern at the projected substantial losses, following on from significant trading losses in 2010 and 2011, and would direct the club to prioritise addressing this continued negative trading position moving forward.”

UEFA Club Licences granted: Cliftonville, Coleraine, Crusaders, Glentoran, Linfield, Portadown.

UEFA Club Licences refused: Ballymena United, Glenavon, Lisburn Distillery.

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Domestic Club Licences granted: Ballymena United, Carrick Rangers (Seaview, Belfast), Cliftonville, Coleraine, Crusaders, Donegal Celtic, Dungannon Swifts, Glenavon, Glentoran, Linfield, Lisburn Distillery, Newry City, Portadown.

Championship Club Licences granted: Ballinamallard (Stangmore Park, Dungannon), Institute, Larne (Dixon Park, Ballyclare).

Refused: Ballyclare Comrades, Loughgall.


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