The Northern Ireland Executive says it's edging closer to implementing the Sub Regional Stadia Programme for football and Crusaders manager Stephen Baxter has argued that the Irish League needs improved facilities to continue to thrive.
The football infrastructure in Northern Ireland has suffered from years of neglect, but there is light on the horizon with the much needed Government funding being assembled.
It's a long running saga which has curtailed the game's progress, but clubs are hopeful stadium funding will be released soon.
In 2015 the Executive allocated £36.2m to football through the Sub Regional Stadia Programme but following the Government collapse in 2017, the cash was never released.
A government consultation had recommended Glentoran receive an investment of £10m to upgrade The Oval. Another strand of £17m was available to other Premiership clubs capable of hosting fixtures with a 5,000 capacity, with teams able to apply for up to £3m to provide "quality football facilities and community facilities".
There was another £3m for Championship clubs, while the same figure was put towards intermediate and junior football and a further £3m for a national training centre.
Glentoran are determined to create a new home reflecting their ambition on the pitch while Larne, Ballymena United and Carrick Rangers have joined forces with Mid and East Antrim Borough Council (MEABC) to form MEA United, which is bidding for multi-million pound funding for grounds.
Crusaders are also keen to construct a new stand alongside St Vincent Street, featuring accommodation and office space at the corner while also redeveloping the North Stand.
The ground capacity should exceed 4,000, allowing the club to host higher profile games and the total cost of the improvements is expected to be between £3-4m.
A Department for Communities spokesperson said: "The Sub Regional Stadia Programme for Soccer is one of the commitments in the "New Decade, New Approach" agreement and under the direction of the Minister officials have been working to refresh and re-engage with the programme to provide a robust evidence base on the current challenges, strategic priorities and needs of soccer at all levels.
"A range of primary and secondary research tools have been adopted to inform the updated evidence base. This work is nearing completion and has utilised a club survey along with discussions with key stakeholders including governing bodies of football, Sport NI, councils and Disability Sport NI. The analysis stage has begun and will inform the shape and scope of the programme going forward including the timeline for delivery.
"Once this work has concluded the Minister will present recommendations to her Executive colleagues on the future implementation and proposed timescales for the Programme."
Crues boss Stephen Baxter says the stadium funding is vital if Irish League football wants to keep improving.
"We are very grateful for all the help we are getting," said Baxter.
"We have ploughed money into facilities to give us a firm foundation going forward because we had yo-yoed for a number of years. The infrastructure has been good from our perspective and now there's an opportunity to really make a mark and develop.
"It's exciting for us and I'm delighted the club has been proactive in submitting plans and getting approval. We need money spent in Irish League football to improve the game and it's facilities. We want better playing surfaces and facilities when development has been sadly lacking for 20 years.
"Giant strides from all the teams show the willingness is there to make progress and we need the support of the authorities. The big thing for people in Northern Ireland is we love our sport, no matter what it is.
"That galvanises everyone and lifts everybody. Any improvement in the facilities is fantastic and hopefully we can bring more families to games."
March 16 is D-Day for the controversial Irish Cup with the date set to determine whether the majority of Championship and Intermediate clubs will participate in this year's festival of football in May.