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Linfield chief calls for Irish FA to support clubs with Uefa funds

 

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Euro charge: Coleraine and Linfield are two of the sides pursuing European qualification

Euro charge: Coleraine and Linfield are two of the sides pursuing European qualification

©INPHO/Brian Little

Roy McGivern

Roy McGivern

Euro charge: Coleraine and Linfield are two of the sides pursuing European qualification

Linfield chairman Roy McGivern has issued a fresh appeal to the Irish Football Association to help clubs weather the financial storm generated by the coronavirus pandemic.

 

The Blues have resisted calls for European money to be distributed to other clubs if the league season cannot be finished and have instead highlighted the need for the Irish FA to offer clubs greater financial support.

Uefa said they were making almost £4m available to the Irish FA to help the association respond to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Clubs, however, say they fear sufficient cash is not going to be handed to them at a worrying time.

McGivern added his voice to those concerns, stating on Twitter yesterday: "Why are more not calling for @OfficialIrishFA to redistribute some of the €4.3m @UEFA Hat Trick money to keep local football afloat? This was meant to be used 'to help its 55 member associations meet the challenges of Covid-19 in their respective countries'."

The Irish FA maintain they are committed to helping teams during these extraordinary times but clubs insist funds from Uefa and Fifa are needed to compensate for lost revenue.

Crusaders treasurer Tommy Whiteside told Sunday Life: "If we are unable to start playing football until September or October, which is an increasing possibility, there are going to be big problems for clubs financially.

"Clubs need help from the parent body in times of crisis, but it doesn't look as if the IFA are going to part with Uefa money because they think it's their own.

"They keep telling us they need to put money aside for a rainy day - well, if this isn't a rainy day in the history of our game then I don't know what is."

McGivern also responded to criticism from former Northern Ireland defender Gareth McAuley over the club's reluctance to share funds secured through European qualification.

Former Fifa vice-president Jim Boyce, Ballymena United boss David Jeffrey and Glentoran manager Mick McDermott have argued that if the league season is over, finances could be shared among the top seven clubs still in contention for a European place before football was suspended.

McGivern tweeted: "Interesting comments from @G23mcauley in today's SundayLifeSport. Of course local clubs need all the help they can get to get through this current crisis but I don't see any other League in Europe calling for European monies earned on merit to be shared out."

The Blues chief had previously argued: "This club, along with others, has invested heavily to improve our performance and to enhance the position of the Irish League within a European context.

"It is imperative, therefore, that European places and the resulting revenues are awarded solely on merit and we would reject what we view as opportunistic calls for a wider distribution of European incomes this season."

Belfast Telegraph