IFA chief Nelson hails £36m stadium proposals

Patrick Nelson, Chief Executive Irish Football Association.
Patrick Nelson, Chief Executive Irish Football Association.

IFA chief executive Patrick Nelson has welcomed a proposed £36m programme of investment in football stadiums in Northern Ireland, which he says can ‘revolutionise’ the sport here.

A 12-week public consultation exercise announced by Sports Minister Caral Ni Chuilin is underway, with the plans including a £10m redevelopment of Glentoran’s Oval stadium in east Belfast.

The consultation document published by the NI Executive’s Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure includes proposals for the funding of projects ranging from intermediate and junior level to senior Irish League football.

IFA boss Nelson said: “With £36 million of investment available, this programme has the potential to revolutionise football in Northern Ireland and is a further landmark commitment to the sport following the Executive’s funding of the new National Football Stadium at Windsor Park.

“The Irish FA will engage fully in the consultation and will be using our Facilities Strategy document, published in 2012, as the basis of our submissions to government,” he added.

“This document was prepared by the Association following eight months of research and consultation with clubs at all levels and stakeholders right across the country.

“It is my hope that this research... will help inform any decisions that will be made by the Minister in the coming months.”