The Ulster Unionist Party’s sports spokesperson, Leslie Cree MLA, has urged football clubs at all levels of the game across Northern Ireland to participate in the consultation on the Sub-Regional Stadia Programme which was announced today and which intends to allocate £36m to meet the strategic needs of football in Northern Ireland.
Mr Cree said:
“I obviously welcome any funding being made available to support local football, but the Minister’s statement did prompt a number of questions, not least as to why she is so wedded to a position as articulated by the IFA Facilities Strategy of March 2011, when it updated its requirements in August 2012.
“Questions also arise from Strand One of the Programme which says that ‘Redevelopment of the Oval in partnership with Glentoran Football Club is proposed,’ which is also followed by the line ‘a budget of circa £10 million would be made available for this strand.’
“This will strike many people as curious given that senior Glentoran officials have in the past expressed a desire to leave the Oval and build a new stadium elsewhere in East Belfast.
“What is not in doubt is that local football clubs at all levels of the game should look at the Consultation document and identify which of the five Strands is relevant to them. Strand 2 applies to those stadia which are listed as ‘designated venues’ under the Safety at Sports Grounds Order; Strand 3 relates to non–designated venues; and Strand 5 covers Intermediate and Junior football.
“I know that football clubs have been crying out for money and it is essential that they participate in this consultation process and make their voices heard.”
The Consultation closes on Monday 22 February 2016. The consultation document and response form can be downloaded from the DCAL website at http://www.dcalni.gov.uk/consultations/dcal-sub-regional-stadia-programme-soccer