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Irish FA land financial windfall worth 'millions' following Kop Stand settlement

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The rebuilt West Stand was officially opened when Northern Ireland faced San Marino in October 2016.

The rebuilt West Stand was officially opened when Northern Ireland faced San Marino in October 2016.

It became apparent Windsor Park’s old Kop Stand would have to be demolished.

It became apparent Windsor Park’s old Kop Stand would have to be demolished.

Work begins to demolish the Kop stand at Windsor Park back in 2015.

Work begins to demolish the Kop stand at Windsor Park back in 2015.

The Kop Stand being demolished

The Kop Stand being demolished

The foundations are put in place to begin
work on the new Kop stand in early 2016.

The foundations are put in place to begin work on the new Kop stand in early 2016.

The rebuilt West Stand was officially opened when Northern Ireland faced San Marino in October 2016.

The Irish FA have received a bumper financial windfall worth "millions" following the settlement of legal action over the enforced demolition of the West Stand at Windsor Park.

Cracks appeared in the Kop Stand just 48 hours after Northern Ireland played Finland in Belfast in March 2015, with the result that the structure had to be demolished and rebuilt.

The case taken against Belfast City Council, a contractor and engineering firm was settled in Belfast High Court last November, and Sunday Life Sport understands the compensation was paid in the last fortnight.

"Both the IFA and Linfield took cases following the forced closure of the West Stand at the National Stadium," explained a Windsor insider. "Linfield's payout was a five-figure sum while the IFA's payout was much greater, in the millions."

When asked to confirm or deny they received such a payout in recent weeks, an IFA spokesperson replied: "This is a confidential commercial matter."

Moreover, the IFA have refused to deny they have earmarked £1.6m of UEFA Hat Trick funding to cover potential revenue losses if the coronavirus forces the postponement of the three Nations League games against Romania, Norway and Austria, scheduled for September, October and November.

The Association have come under fire for their reticence to discuss the £3.8m UEFA made available to all members to help with the current crisis, with senior football clubs pressing for an assurance of financial support to help get through the pandemic.

"The IFA will be down over £500,000 per game if the autumn internationals are postponed, as is very possible, and they have made it clear they need £1.6m of Hat Trick funding to cover the shortfall," said another source.

The Irish FA would only state: "Should the autumn international matches be postponed, the Irish FA would lose around £1.6m in estimated income."

Belfast Telegraph