A Tale of Two Stadiums..

Whilst the DUP DCAL Minister couldn’t wait to finally bury the shiny new shared stadium proposal in the north yesterday, UEFA were just about preparing to announce that the new home of Irish rugby and soccer (yes OWC fans, I know there are ‘two’ of the latter…) will host the 2011 Europa League Final (the new name for the UEFA Cup.) London will host that year’s Champions League final as well. As these images from the Lansdowne Road Stadium Development Company reveal, the construction of the new stadium is well underway and is due to be completed by early 2010. So that’s how it’s done, then….

  • kensei

    Realist

    The North Stand is not owned by Linfield FC

    Generally wish to avoid this debate like the plague, but c’mon! atre you seriously trying to tell me that is not a sweetheart deal?

    I know your a Linfield fan, but from an objective standpoint, really?

  • I think I will have to contact my MP to get some questions raised about this incestous relationship between Linfield and the administrators here

    Good man Ken.
    If only more people, instead of whinging about such things as language provision, took the initiative like yourself and forced his MP to go directly to our true parliament at Westminster, instead of wasting time and money at the Circus on the Hill- then we’d all be better off.

  • Realist

    Hi kensei,

    “are you seriously trying to tell me that is not a sweetheart deal?”

    In what way do you mean a “sweetheart deal”?

    Happy to deal with your question, if I’m clear what you mean!

  • Kensei

    Realist

    In what way do you mean a “sweetheart deal”?

    Happy to deal with your question, if I’m clear what you mean!

    Meaning that other clubs don’t tend to get nice new stands built for them? I presume they can use it despite not owning it?

  • Realist

    kensei,

    “Meaning that other clubs don’t tend to get nice new stands built for them? I presume they can use it despite not owning it?”

    Cliftonville FC have recently had a fantastic new stand funded for them, following on from the new stand built in 2002.

    Portadown FC also, have had a magnificant, new, stand funded for them.

    Yes, Linfield FC can use the North Stand.

    It is used to accomodate only visiting (“away”) supporters to Windsor Park for IL games.

  • ken

    Realist
    what really needs to happen is fo rthe other Irish League Clubs to band together and ensure they get a fair share of the international revenue. Sad thing is that the NI team is so bad under Worthington that a bigger satdium will not be needed for a while as they will never get beyond the qualifying stage of any competition.
    People using the website normally have a reasonable level of savvy and do not need spoon fed with clarification of every word. So Whinger Park Rednecks can paste as much as they want, I will only say these things only once. If you cannot grasp these things on first outing – tough!

  • Realist

    ken,

    Your inability to answer the questions is duly noted, for future reference.

    Just another blusterer, full of fluff, anmd devoid of any real substance.

    “they will never get beyond the qualifying stage of any competition”

    “We are not now that strength which in old days
    Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are;
    One equal temper of heroic hearts,
    Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
    To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”

    Believe me – we score a victory every time we play 😉

    Toddle pip ken!

  • Eric

    Many thousands of the people who flock to them arrive on foot. Near most are hostelries within which the aficionados gather before and after the match: first to argue the toss, afterwards in triumph following more goal-scoring heroics by David Healy (left)

  • JW

    “It’s interesting that Linfield FC (the bastion of Protestantism”)have more “Catholic” players at the Club, than the GAA has had Unionists, playing in Northern Ireland at senior level – IN IT’S ENTIRE HISTORY. ”

    But in Terrorist Edward Carson they made up for it in quality!

  • Realist

    JW,

    “But in Terrorist Edward Carson they made up for it in quality!”

    Out of curiousity, what county did Statesman Carson play GAA for, at a senior level?

  • kensei

    Realist

    Did Cliftonville not get lottery funding and does that not mean they own the stand?

    Is having someone else owning a stand in your stadium not a wee bit unusual?

  • Realist

    kensei,

    “Did Cliftonville not get lottery funding and does that not mean they own the stand?”

    I think the funding came through Sport NI, but I stand to be corrected.

    “Is having someone else owning a stand in your stadium not a wee bit unusual?”

    It is, a bit.

    The North Stand was funded in a joint venture between the IFA and Govt.

    It was required for International football.

  • ken

    The North Stand was funded in a joint venture between the IFA and Govt.

    It was required for International football

    Why then do the owners have to pay for the use of it and why are Linfield not charged each time they use it for home games. This is a totally incestuous relationship worthy of anything coming out of Palermo. (That’s in Sicily by the way Realist)

  • andrew

    Both Cliftonville and Portadown were required to fund 30 – 40% of the costs of building new stands at their respective grounds.

    Why are the IFA or Linfield not having to pay anything towards the needed improvements at Windsor Park?

    Why should the taxpayer show financial committment when the IFA can’t even get out and sell a few Big Issues to ease the burden on our already stretched budget.

    Its fairly simple, help to pay or go away!

  • Realist

    ken,

    “Why then do the owners have to pay for the use of it and why are Linfield not charged each time they use it for home games”

    This was all negotiated and agreed when the contract was established.

    Perhaps Linfield FC should have told the IFA to keep receipts for the North Stand, and then charged them 25% of receipts for the rest of the ground for internationals?

    Or, just maybe, the way it is kept it nice and tidy! 🙂

    “That’s in Sicily by the way Realist”

    Thanks for that – I’m looking forward to my visit to San Marino next week…it’s surrounded by Italy!

    andrew,

    “Both Cliftonville and Portadown were required to fund 30 – 40% of the costs of building new stands at their respective grounds”

    I wasn’t aware of that.

    Have you a link confirming this, or did you just make it up?

    Was it 30%, 40%, or were they allowed to make up a number between 30 – 40%?

  • Have you a link confirming this, or did you just make it up?

    Portadown FC received £800k from Sportni..

    http://www.sportni.net/stadiasafety/StadiaSafetyProgrammePhaseIPortadownFootballClub.htm

    ..for the construction of their new stand, the overall cost for the construction & improvements was £1.6 Million.

    The balance was made up by private funding, the naming of the stand by a sponsored company ‘Met Steel Stand’and other methods of funding.

    The term ‘ spongers’ seems appropriate for the IFA and Linfield

  • Doctor Who

    Of course whwn the IFA continue to show incompetence and contnue to always let Linfield off the hook, they will always leave themselves open to accusations of an IFA+Linfield FC love in.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/irish/7869222.stm

  • Realist

    “Of course whwn the IFA continue to show incompetence and contnue to always let Linfield off the hook, they will always leave themselves open to accusations of an IFA+Linfield FC love in”

    Doctor Who,

    The “incompetence” of the IFA, at times, is a given.

    Can you explain, given the structures of the IFA, how there could be a pro Linfield FC bias within the IFA?

    I would, respectfully, refer you to the “Articles Of Association”, which can be found on the Irish FA website.

  • kensei

    Realist

    I think the funding came through Sport NI, but I stand to be corrected.

    It’s largely irrelevant to the point where the funding came from. I also thought they had to raise some proportion of the money themselves, but can’t find a link.

    It is, a bit.

    The North Stand was funded in a joint venture between the IFA and Govt.

    It was required for International football.

    So – Linfield get an advantage because their ground is used to host internationals, something no other clubs here get? Thank you for reaching that point in the end.

    And if NI leave Windosr, will they charge for the stand? Bull doze it? Sell it? It’s a complete nonsense.

  • fin

    never thought I’d end up defending Linfield but here goes. I’m not a big fan of NI footie so I could be wrong, however, do Linfield draw enough fans to fill the stadium, I’ve just looked at the ticket prices and you wouldn’t get a burger at Stamford Bridge for that amount, who is responsible for maintaining the stadium?

    Also I’m not sure people are approaching this arguement from the right angle, in London for the millenium dome and for the new olympic stadium the government has done the rounds trying to get a football team to take either site as their ground, millwall for the dome and the hammers for the olympic stadium. neither would have paid a fraction of the real costs to take it over.

    In a city of 8-10 million, Wembley struggles to make money, so a stadium solely for international games and novelty events in NI would struggle to break even too.

    If the bigger clubs in NI need handouts to develop their stadiums why not ground share like clubs in the premiership have done in the past? and have two teams with Windsor as their ground.

    And a final thought is, is having 3 sports played on a single pitch workable, soccer needs a pool table surface, rugby ploughs up the ground, I’d suspect that even GAA and soccer pitches need different lenghts of grass

  • terry

    ‘And a final thought is, is having 3 sports played on a single pitch workable, soccer needs a pool table surface, rugby ploughs up the ground, I’d suspect that even GAA and soccer pitches need different lenghts of grass’

    Seems to work well enough at Croke Park.

    Gaa last weekend, Rugby this weekend and Soccer next wednesday

  • Realist

    kensei,

    “So – Linfield get an advantage because their ground is used to host internationals, something no other clubs here get? Thank you for reaching that point in the end”

    What do you mean by “advantage”?

    Does that surprise you?

    Do you think that concept is unfair?

    Would you rent me your home for free?

    We are paid a rent for use of our property – in exactly the same way as the GAA charge the FAI and IRFU for usage of their facility – sadly, Linfield FC didn’t negotiate a “minimum” income aspect to the contract…unlike the GAA.

    Perhaps, if Windsor Park is to be redeveloped to meet the needs of the IFA, that is an opportunity to review the contract – I would be supportive of a “minimum income” component being in any such contract.

    Those who wish to use our property will pay a rent for it.

    Simple as that.

    “And if NI leave Windsor, will they charge for the stand? Bull doze it? Sell it? It’s a complete nonsense”

    I would expect that the detail of that would all be considered within the multi million pound “compensation” package that Linfield FC would seek.

    Ultimately, if the IFA leave Windsor (which I hope they do), I would imagine that Linfield FC will look to redevelop the stadium to cater for the needs of the Club, going forward.

    Fact – Linfield FC do not need a 20,000 – 25,000 capacity stadium.

  • terry

    Ultimately, if the IFA leave Windsor (which I hope they do), I would imagine that Linfield FC will look to redevelop the stadium to cater for the needs of the Club, going forward.

    Out of interest Realist

    How do you redevelop a ground with 2 decent stands, to cater for less than 2 thousand punters, once a fortnight?

    Would you knock down stands to reduce the capacity down to the couple of thousand average home gate?

  • Realist

    terry,

    “How do you redevelop a ground with 2 decent stands, to cater for less than 2 thousand punters, once a fortnight?”

    I would envisage, in such a scenario, a major re-build, with a capacity of circa 8,000.

    That would be ample for the needs of the Club, both now, and going forward.

  • kensei

    What do you mean by “advantage”?

    They gain several advantages by having the stadium that hosts internationals. Money. Facilities.

    Do you think that concept is unfair?

    Yes. Given the financial state of the game in the North, it gives Linfield a decesive competitive advantage. It distorts competition.

    We are paid a rent for use of our property – in exactly the same way as the GAA charge the FAI and IRFU for usage of their facility – sadly, Linfield FC didn’t negotiate a “minimum” income aspect to the contract…unlike the GAA.

    Which in principle is fair enough. It’s good for Linfield. They get among other things, a free stand. But is it good for the local game? Not convinced by that.

    I would expect that the detail of that would all be considered within the multi million pound “compensation” package that Linfield FC would seek.

    If you are in breach of contract, you shouldn’t be getting any money.

    Fact – Linfield FC do not need a 20,000 – 25,000 capacity stadium.

    They may find they need the extra income that internationals provide, though.

  • ken

    Those who wish to use our property will pay a rent for it.
    Quite so. Then when are the IFA going to charge Linfield a rent for the use of the North Stand which is not owned by Linfield?
    Why should the taxpayer be forced to subsidise a club with organge grassroots? Just because Gregory Campbell is a Rangers fan. Remember he set down an EDM at Westminister when the Celtic goalie showed a vest with “God bless the Pope” on it.Narrow mind?
    I think genuine fans who are sick and tired of the IFA shoring up Linfield, need to start a boycott of international games until fairness is restored and all Irish League Clubs treated equally. At least then we will have a case of LInfield fans paying their own club.

  • Realist

    ken,

    “Quite so. Then when are the IFA going to charge Linfield a rent for the use of the North Stand which is not owned by Linfield?”

    That’s not the brightest of questions.

    Linfield FC’s usage of the North Stand was included in the overall contract composition.

    You do understand that the Stand was built on land belonging to Linfield FC, don’t you?

    If the IFA had wanted to charge Linfield FC rental on usage of the North Stand, Linfield FC would simply have said “Fine, we’ll charge you a higher percentage for use of the rest of the ground”.

    Doh!

    I hope you’re not in business Kenneth. 🙂

    “Why should the taxpayer be forced to subsidise a club with organge grassroots?”

    They aren’t, and it isn’t doesn’t.

    “Just because Gregory Campbell is a Rangers fan”

    So what that he’s “a Rangers fan”?

    I couldn’t give two flying ones about Rangers (not a big lover of either “Old Firm” Clubs) – I support my Club (Linfield FC), and my country (Northern Ireland). That’s it. Nobody else.

    “Remember he set down an EDM at Westminister when the Celtic goalie showed a vest with “God bless the Pope” on it”

    Yes, I do remember.

    I believe “God Bless The Queen” T Shirts were all the rage in Glasgow after this. 🙂

    “Narrow mind?”

    Gregory? Quite probably.

    Yourself? Most definately.

    “I think genuine fans who are sick and tired of the IFA shoring up Linfield, need to start a boycott of international games until fairness is restored and all Irish League Clubs treated equally”

    That made me laugh out loud. 🙂

    You’re deluded.

    “At least then we will have a case of LInfield fans paying their own club”

    I don’t understand this comment.

    Can you explain?

    PS. You’re a bit short in answers to some posed to you earlier.

    How you getting on with your MP and “equality legislation” issues?

  • zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Realist again wins the ‘snore of the year’ award for his automated and sleep-inducing ‘copy and pasting’style- zzzzzzzz…..

  • ken

    I don’t understand. How many times has Realist said that. In fact that is his basic problem. Ground rents as he should know are worth a lot less than the rent of a facility. Fact of the matter is that the IFA in drawing up this contract wanted to ensure that Linfield would have the ascendancy over ever other Irish League Club. It is called the Protestant Ascendency. It goes back to the days when in order to breathe you had to be in communion with the church of Ireland. Catholics and Presbyterians were their virtual slaves.
    The fact is that Linfield has massive support within the IFA. All those small clubs with their massive votes are mainly LOL given the fact that so many catholics do not want to play a sport dominated by a Loyalist team playing in a ground in the heart of the Loyalist paramilitary Village area. So not too many objections were raised when Linfield virtually decided on what terms they would host internationals. What the other Irish League teams need to do is to disaffiliate themselves from the IFA and start a new organisation based on fairness, equality and principle. Linfield may not want to join them. Fine then Windsor will be empty every Saturday and the directors of Linfield can grow fat on their immoral earnings.
    The IFA is a thoroughly discredited organisation. Look at the current fiasco. They had no proof they posted the letter to Linfield so they can play an unregistered player and get off with it. Perhaps the IFA and Linfield should merge as they seem to all intents and purposes to be the one body anyway.
    As far as businesses are concerned neither Realist or the IFA know anything about running one, because their primary aim is not financial efficiency but giving an unfair financial advantage to a team representing the sporting aspirations of extreme Loyalism.
    I have asked my MLA to raise the Equality issues in this case but he is scared of offending the Loyalist right. Can I ask all those reading this to ask their MLA’s to raise it. They may have more guts and a desire for fairness and equality.
    As far as unanswered questions are concerned Realist, you can obtain those for yourself. I am not a P1 teacher.

  • ken

    I don’t understand. How many times has Realist said that. In fact that is his basic problem. Ground rents as he should know are worth a lot less than the rent of a facility. Fact of the matter is that the IFA in drawing up this contract wanted to ensure that Linfield would have the ascendancy over ever other Irish League Club. It is called the Protestant Ascendency. It goes back to the days when in order to breathe you had to be in communion with the church of Ireland. Catholics and Presbyterians were their virtual slaves.
    The fact is that Linfield has massive support within the IFA. All those small clubs with their massive votes are mainly LOL given the fact that so many catholics do not want to play a sport dominated by a Loyalist team playing in a ground in the heart of the Loyalist paramilitary Village area. So not too many objections were raised when Linfield virtually decided on what terms they would host internationals. What the other Irish League teams need to do is to disaffiliate themselves from the IFA and start a new organisation based on fairness, equality and principle. Linfield may not want to join them. Fine then Windsor will be empty every Saturday and the directors of Linfield can grow fat on their immoral earnings.
    The IFA is a thoroughly discredited organisation. Look at the current fiasco. They had no proof they posted the letter to Linfield so they can play an unregistered player and get off with it. Perhaps the IFA and Linfield should merge as they seem to all intents and purposes to be the one body anyway.
    As far as businesses are concerned neither Realist or the IFA know anything about running one, because their primary aim is not financial efficiency but giving an unfair financial advantage to a team representing the sporting aspirations of extreme Loyalism.
    I have asked my MLA to raise the Equality issues in this case but he is scared of offending the Loyalist right. Can I ask all those reading this to ask their MLA’s to raise it. They may have more guts and a desire for fairness and equality.
    As far as unanswered questions are concerned Realist, you can obtain those for yourself. I am not a P1 teacher.

  • ken

    Forgot to mention by the way, that all true soccer fans in Northern Ireland should contact JJB Sports asking them to justify sponsoring a league and a cup where the odds are rigged in favour of one team. Backed by the hundreds of thousands of pounds of money from internationals, LInfield can attract the top players and pay the top wages. They can dominate the poorer clubs and then lift the sponsorship money as well. Then the deluded faithful think that there success is down only to performance on the pitch when their success was guaranteed in the boardroom of the IFA.
    The email address is customerservices@jjbsports.com
    Flood them with protests!

  • ken

    Forgot to mention by the way, that all true soccer fans in Northern Ireland should contact JJB Sports asking them to justify sponsoring a league and a cup where the odds are rigged in favour of one team. Backed by the hundreds of thousands of pounds of money from internationals, LInfield can attract the top players and pay the top wages. They can dominate the poorer clubs and then lift the sponsorship money as well. Then the deluded faithful think that there success is down only to performance on the pitch when their success was guaranteed in the boardroom of the IFA.
    The email address is customerservices@jjbsports.com
    Flood them with protests!

  • Realist

    ken,

    “Fact of the matter is that the IFA in drawing up this contract wanted to ensure that Linfield would have the ascendancy over ever other Irish League Club”

    You’ll be providing proof (any?) of this “fact”, will you?

    Inspite of several opportunities to do, you have failed to do so.

    Was that the intention of HMG too?

    I didn’t realise Jim Prior was a Bluenose! 🙂

    “It is called the Protestant Ascendency. It goes back to the days when in order to breathe you had to be in communion with the church of Ireland. Catholics and Presbyterians were their virtual slaves”

    Brilliant! That’s what it was all about!

    “The fact is that Linfield has massive support within the IFA”

    Proof? Names? What Committees? Anything at all ken, to back up your fantasies?

    “the fact that so many catholics do not want to play a sport dominated by a Loyalist team”

    Given this “fact” (as you claim), it would seem quite bizarre that “Loyalist” Linfield FC have several “Catholics” playing for them – at all age groups within the Club.

    In fact, during last Saturday’s IL game at Mourneview, I believe that Linfield FC had more “Catholics” playing for them, than “Protestants”.

    Two of these guys are handy GAA players (one in named after a late Pontiff), and the other is from the Republic Of Ireland.

    http://www.linfieldfc.com/front.asp

    Can you explain that “fact” away?

    I bet that makes you mad ken – you know, people moving on from the past, reconciliation, “Catholics” and “Protestants” playing together in the same team, doesn’t it?

    “playing in a ground in the heart of the Loyalist paramilitary Village area”

    I have attended hundreds and hundreds of matches at Windsor Park, over many years.

    I don’t recall ever having to enter through, or pass through, the “Loyalist paramilitary Village area”.

    “So not too many objections were raised when Linfield virtually decided on what terms they would host internationals”

    Owning the property, kinda gives you an edge in negotiations ken 🙂

    “What the other Irish League teams need to do is to disaffiliate themselves from the IFA and start a new organisation based on fairness, equality and principle”

    Good luck with that!

    I wouldn’t mind Linfield FC, someday disaffiliating themselves from the IFA, to play in an All Ireland “Premier” League – but we’ve discussed that before.

    “Fine then Windsor will be empty every Saturday and the directors of Linfield can grow fat on their immoral earnings”

    More delusion, and inaccuracy.

    At least the Trustees aren’t making off with the money! 😉

    “The IFA is a thoroughly discredited organisation”

    The make some mighty cock ups, but that’s a bit harsh.

    “They had no proof they posted the letter to Linfield so they can play an unregistered player and get off with it”

    Why should Linfield FC suffer because the IFA cock up?

    “Perhaps the IFA and Linfield should merge as they seem to all intents and purposes to be the one body anyway”

    What a totally ludicrous statement.

    “As far as businesses are concerned neither Realist or the IFA know anything about running one, because their primary aim is not financial efficiency but giving an unfair financial advantage to a team representing the sporting aspirations of extreme Loyalism.”

    Absolute and total lies….bordering on libelous.

    “I have asked my MLA to raise the Equality issues in this case but he is scared of offending the Loyalist right. Can I ask all those reading this to ask their MLA’s to raise it. They may have more guts and a desire for fairness and equality”

    Who is your MLA ken? You see,I think you’re telling porkies – just a hunch!

    Good luck with your campaign for “fairness and equality”.

    Whilst you are at it, ask them about the sporting organisation, which benefits from millions taxpayers money,that hasn’t had a Unionist play at a senior level, for any county in Northern Ireland, IN IT’S ENTIRE HISTORY!

    It would be most unfair and inequal, not to raise the issue of “fairness and equality” in the round.

    “As far as unanswered questions are concerned Realist, you can obtain those for yourself. I am not a P1 teacher”

    Easier for you to just run away from them – because they don’t sit will with your, deep rooted, prejudices.

    PS. I enjoyed reading you fantasist, delusional, fluffy, lacking in substance, post twice.

  • zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Realisttttttttttttttttzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz……………………………………………………………………..

  • ken

    Glad to see I am getting to you. The noose is tightening on the cosy relationship between IFA and Linfield. In addition to your many other handicaps, your vision seems to be impaired as you evidently have ignored the loyalist paramilitary wall murals in the notorious village area. Perhaps you drop in by helicopter?
    Who is your MLA Ken? what a laugh! Just lift the phone and ask him who was in contact with him/her then I get a few midnighht callers from the village baseball team! Doh.
    Lets look at the boast that Linfield field Catholic players. Why did they start playing Catholics after years of “no taigs” about the place?
    It was because the extreme Republican “Fr” Frank McManus threatened sponsors with a campaign against them in the USA that they were drawn kicking and screaming into playing Catholics.
    As far as the Gaels are concerned they makes no secret of the fact that it is an all-Ireland sport based on Irish traditions and connected closely with the Catholic church. It is representative of many taxpayers but you, realist in your sectarian rant do not want any of the taxes they pay going back to them. In fairness the GAA has come quite away from the old days and the very fact that they now allow soccer to be played on their pitches and the Bristish National Anthem played in its HQ shows that. You are too much of a billy-boy bigot to notice or recognise that but then you have a tribal gathering every other Saturday at the taxpayers funded facilities which is whinger park.
    You want proof that the IFA wanted to give the Blues an advantage? Read the contract you ass! What more proof do you want? The evidence is before your blinkered eyes and you would not recognise the truth even if it hit you on your thick lenses.
    Do you remember when Glenavon signed a player, sent the forms in and even obtained verbal telephone confirmation that they could play him. Guess what? They were fined but because Linfield fans run the IFA they get off scot-free? The evidence is there for everyone to see. I am surprised the IFA has not yet moved in to Whinger Park. It is their natural home.
    To change this corrupt set up we need to do what Mcmanus did. Bring the sponsors to see that they are shoring up a totally biased and unfair house of cards run by idiots.
    Get those emails off. Happy pasting realist!!

  • Realist

    ken,

    “Glad to see I am getting to you”

    Absolutely not – I’m enjoying you make a fool out of yourself. Different name (this time), but same old…

    “The noose is tightening on the cosy relationship between IFA and Linfield”

    Yip – they can hardly breathe.

    “In addition to your many other handicaps, your vision seems to be impaired as you evidently have ignored the loyalist paramilitary wall murals in the notorious village area.”

    Not so much “ignoring” them, I don’t see them when I go to Windsor Park to watch matches.

    “Perhaps you drop in by helicopter?”

    No – I drive up the Lisburn Road, park in a street of it, cross a footbridge, and into Windsor Park.

    If I wanted, I could also park along the Boucher Road, and enter the stadium that way.

    You’re certainly not a P1 Geography teacher, and, indeed, lack a grasp of local geography which a P1 pupil might find easy.

    “Who is your MLA Ken? what a laugh! Just lift the phone and ask him who was in contact with him/her then I get a few midnighht callers from the village baseball team! Doh”

    As I thought – you’re a fantasist.

    “Lets look at the boast that Linfield field Catholic players. Why did they start playing Catholics after years of “no taigs” about the place?”

    Years ago – it’s called “moving on”.

    “It was because the extreme Republican “Fr” Frank McManus threatened sponsors with a campaign against them in the USA that they were drawn kicking and screaming into playing Catholics.”

    I noticed a couple of Coke adverts at Windsor Park last night, as it happens.

    Myself and my mates joked about how Bigot McManus, must be pleased that he got his wish – an all conquering, cross community, Linfield team!

    I’ve another sporting equality “mission” for him to turn his attention to, now his work at Linfield FC is over…but that’s another story!

    “As far as the Gaels are concerned they makes no secret of the fact that it is an all-Ireland sport based on Irish traditions and connected closely with the Catholic church”

    There’s the money shot – not unlike the OO then.

    “It is representative of many taxpayers but you, realist in your sectarian rant do not want any of the taxes they pay going back to them.”

    I have made no “sectarian rant” Kenneth – in stark contrast to yourself!

    Do Linfield FC and Northern Ireland fans not pay tax?

    “In fairness the GAA has come quite away from the old days and the very fact that they now allow soccer to be played on their pitches and the Bristish National Anthem played in its HQ shows that.”

    Wow – that’s progress!

    “You are too much of a billy-boy bigot”

    Please substantiate that comment, or retract it.

    “you have a tribal gathering every other Saturday at the taxpayers funded facilities which is whinger park”

    Yip – a cross community “tribe” of players, giving their all for Linfield FC.

    “You want proof that the IFA wanted to give the Blues an advantage? Read the contract you ass!”

    Have you read it? Post it – in it’s entirety, for the benefit of posters.

    I note your need to resort to, base, personal abuse.

    “What more proof do you want? The evidence is before your blinkered eyes and you would not recognise the truth even if it hit you on your thick lenses.”

    Post “the truth” of the contract, in it’s entirety – then we can all discuss it!

    “Do you remember when Glenavon signed a player, sent the forms in and even obtained verbal telephone confirmation that they could play him. Guess what? They were fined but because Linfield fans run the IFA they get off scot-free?”

    Still no names, still no evidence, of these “Linfield fans who run the IFA”

    I’m patient tho – any chance?

    George Savage wouldn’t be your MLA, by any chance? 😉

    “I am surprised the IFA has not yet moved in to Whinger Park. It is their natural home”

    Well – it’s their rented home.

    “To change this corrupt set up we need to do what Mcmanus did. Bring the sponsors to see that they are shoring up a totally biased and unfair house of cards run by idiots.
    Get those emails off.”

    I think JJB have enough problems Kenneth 🙂

    “Happy pasting realist!!”

    Did I miss anything, or have I dealt with you fluff, bluster, and prejudices in their entirety?

    The name might change from time to time, but “ken” always ends up doing himself up like a kipper! 🙂

  • ken

    No need to post the contract dear boy the dogs in the street know that Linfield get 15% of gate, TV and programmes. If you are denying that then you produce the contract. Why do you try to deny what is already in the public domain? You are a king of naivety!
    Still i commend you self preservation technique – too scared to go through the tribal village area on the Donegall Road. I know that area well and so do you if you were honest enough to admit it
    For decades Linfield fans would not allow catholics to play before their redneck fans. But as soon as their bigotry threatens the flow of money and sponsorship, they cave in because their love of cash is what motivates them. Realist you cannot boast about moving on until you have Catholics on the terraces cheering on the men in red white and blue.
    You play catholics not to be seen to be civilised but because they are good players and you can pay them with your ill gotten gains.
    Now I have got to get a few more emails off on the JJB issue. Who are the other advertisers at whinger park apart from Coke? We will soon take the fizz out of that. I may even go down to whinger to make a few notes and I will take the safe route you have recommended. Nice to see from your commentsthe great car parking facilities at Whinger!
    George Savage? I know of him but wrong party sonny! Most informed people know who the covert bluemen are at the IFA. If you do not then find out for yourself.

  • Realist

    ken,

    “No need to post the contract dear boy the dogs in the street know that Linfield get 15% of gate, TV and programmes.”

    That’s absolutely, 100%, correct.

    “If you are denying that then you produce the contract”

    See above.

    You said:

    “You want proof that the IFA wanted to give the Blues an advantage? Read the contract you ass!”

    I challenge you to post the contract, in it’s entirety, to qualify this “advantage”.

    Is it abnormal, in your world, for a Landlord to charge a rent?

    “Still i commend you self preservation technique – too scared to go through the tribal village area on the Donegall Road”

    Just more convenient for me to enter Windsor Park via the route I detailed earlier.

    Why would I be “too scared”?

    “I know that area well and so do you if you were honest enough to admit it”

    I don’t know it particularly well at all.

    If you do, what is your point?

    Obviously, “if you know it well”, you’ve no problems in entering it, and exiting it.

    Your “logic” is falling apart – by virtue of the knots you created for yourself.

    “For decades Linfield fans would not allow catholics to play before their redneck fans”

    More relevant to today, people like you still seem to have issues with “Catholics” playing for Linfield FC – I wonder why?

    What’s a “redneck”?

    “But as soon as their bigotry threatens the flow of money and sponsorship, they cave in because their love of cash is what motivates them”

    It’s 2009 Kenneth?

    Do you want to deal with now and the future, or, do you want to stay in the past?

    You pick – I’ll play, on the basis of your choice.

    “Realist you cannot boast about moving on until you have Catholics on the terraces cheering on the men in red white and blue”

    Why is that?

    Linfield FC have no intention of asking anyone coming through outr turnstiles to fill in a “where do you say your prayers?” questionaire. A tenner will suffice.

    Nor, can Linfield FC force anyone to support us.

    “You play catholics not to be seen to be civilised but because they are good players and you can pay them with your ill gotten gains”

    You see Kenneth, that’s the point.

    Linfield FC play footballers – who want to play for Linfield Football Club.

    Er – that’s it!

    Where they say their prayers (if they bother), doesn’t matter.

    “Now I have got to get a few more emails off on the JJB issue.”

    Good lad!

    “Who are the other advertisers at whinger park apart from Coke?”

    But – you know everything about Windsor Park, and Linfield FC?

    I’m astounded that, in such a well planned, co-ordinated, “campaign”, you haven’t even done your homework.

    Only joking – I’m not astounded at all.

    “We will soon take the fizz out of that”

    Have you tried getting a slot at The Empire?

    “I may even go down to whinger to make a few notes”

    Selling burgers?

    “Nice to see from your commentsthe great car parking facilities at Whinger”

    There not great actually.

    “George Savage? I know of him but wrong party sonny!”

    Did you not mention Glenavon? It’s only five points now, because you missed the first clue.

    Only one more go, mind.

    “Most informed people know who the covert bluemen are at the IFA”

    And, misinformed fantasists like you, it seems, just make it up.

    “If you do not then find out for yourself”

    Ken, in “i’m stuck for answers, because I made it up” shocker.

    He even has imaginary friends. 🙂

  • Billy

    Realist

    I don’t agree with a lot of what Ken says but he’s right about the effect of Fr McManus and the Irish National Caucus. Your attempts to laugh it off were frankly pathetic.

    For decades, as you appear to concede, Linfield had a blatently anti-Catholic sectarian signing policy that was completely ignored by the IFA. Didn’t they notice then? LOL

    By the way, you say that you have been a Linfield fan for years – did you have any problem with their “no taigs” policy?

    And you call Fr McManus a bigot – why’s that? Because he objected to a football club that discriminated against Catholics being given a lucrative advertising deal from one of the biggest companies in the US – how terrible of him?

    Didn’t you approve of S African companies being boycotted during the apartheid regime either?

    The fact is that Linfield could, and probably would, have got away with continuing their sectarian policy – and the IFA would have done nothing – if it wasn’t for the Irish National Caucus.

    Fr McManus RIGHTLY publicised the FACTS about Linfield’s discsrimination in America and Coca-Cola, who must employ many thousands of Catholics world wide and who wouldn’t want to be associated with Linfield’s sectarianism, reacted accordingly.

    If I remember correctly, Linfield were also exposed to a major French company about their sectarianism also.

    You say that Linfield have moved on – that’s true and I’m very glad.

    However, you are not stupid – neither am I or most other posters on Slugger.

    The Linfield board didn’t wake up one day and think – this discrimination that we have practised against Catholics for all these years is immoral and awful – we must cease it at once.

    The fact is that they were forced to amend their policies through commercial pressure. They didn’t make any moves to end their sectarian policy of their own accord, did they?

    It’s akin to the situation with NI supporters. I know there were a few who were trying to move things on prior to the Neil Lennon incident and all the ensuing bad publicity.

    However, the truth is that there were still a lot of NI fans who were happy with the status quo and ditto for most of the IFA.

    Once the eyes of the footballing world were on them, they had no option but to get things moving.

    Thankfully, things have changed for the better among OWC support (although it’s very far from acceptable yet).

    It’s great to see Linfield signing players based on ability alone and good luck to them.

    However, please don’t pretend that these changes weren’t initially instigated by commercial pressure arising from Linfield’s sectarianism being exposed (particularly by the Irish National Caucus).

    The truth is that Linfield (and OWC to an extent) had to be dragged, kicking and screaming, into the 21st century where their sectarianism would NOT be tolerated.

    As I said, I’m not stupid enough to believe that it was all a big coincidence and neither are the vast majority of the public.

  • Realist

    Billy,

    “For decades, as you appear to concede, Linfield had a blatently anti-Catholic sectarian signing policy that was completely ignored by the IFA. Didn’t they notice then?”

    Gerry Morgan might have disagreed with that analysis.

    “By the way, you say that you have been a Linfield fan for years – did you have any problem with their “no taigs” policy?”

    When I go to watch my team, I don’t, and never have, cared where a player chooses to say his prayers (if he cares to say prayers at all.

    I wouldn’t be an expert on “religion”. I’m not interested in the minor theological interpretations between two very similar strands of exactly the same religion.

    I have nothing to dislike “Catholics” about.

    I have always had differences of opinion on political viewpoints, with a wide variety of people – both “Catholic” and “Protestant”.

    I have never disliked anyone on account of their religious beliefs.

    Any player who wears the Linfield FC with pride, has my full and unequivocal support.

    “And you call Fr McManus a bigot – why’s that?”

    Because he is a hypocrite….he has never had any issues with a “sporting” Association that was blatantly anti Unionist.

    And, because of his support for sectarian killers, whom he described as “heroes”.

    “The fact is that Linfield could, and probably would, have got away with continuing their sectarian policy – and the IFA would have done nothing – if it wasn’t for the Irish National Caucus”

    You pass speculation off as fact?

    “The fact is that they were forced to amend their policies through commercial pressure”

    I would dispute that.

    “They didn’t make any moves to end their sectarian policy of their own accord, did they?”

    Actually, they did.

    You do understand that “Catholic” players had issues about playing for Linfield FC – on account of the hostile reaction amongst their comunity?

    I read, with interest, John Paul Gallagher’s (Linfield FC player) comments on this theme a couple of weeks ago, when he, proudly, signed for the Club.

    “It’s akin to the situation with NI supporters. I know there were a few who were trying to move things on prior to the Neil Lennon incident and all the ensuing bad publicity”

    Northern Ireland (and Ireland, as they were prior to the “breakaway” of the FAI), always have had players from both “Catholic” and “Protestant” backgrounds play for them.

    “However, the truth is that there were still a lot of NI fans who were happy with the status quo and ditto for most of the IFA”

    The truth is, as you acknowledge, those people have been largely ostricised.

    “Once the eyes of the footballing world were on them, they had no option but to get things moving”

    With Northern Ireland fans telling them to “sort it out, or you’ll lose our support”, it might have helped move things on too.

    Thousands of Northern Ireland fans want no truck whatsoever with vile sectarianism at our matches.

    “Thankfully, things have changed for the better among OWC support (although it’s very far from acceptable yet)”

    Indeed it has “changed for the better”.

    Much hostility towards the IFA, and the Northern Ireland team, is born out of one reason, and one reason only – you know what it is, and, you’re right, we’re not stupid.

    Be honest, at least, Billy.

    Those who seek the destruction of the IFA and Northern Ireland team will have no role whatsoever in determining what’s best for the future progression of the team, and it’s supporters.

    “It’s great to see Linfield signing players based on ability alone and good luck to them.”

    It is great.

    I mean this very genuinely – it really gives my heart a lift to see the comaraderie of boys from “opposite sides of the tracks”,at Linfield FC. Politics and religion forgot about, as they come together (as friends) in the cause of our Club – winning trophies.

    “The truth is that Linfield (and OWC to an extent) had to be dragged, kicking and screaming, into the 21st century where their sectarianism would NOT be tolerated”

    “Kicking and screaming”?

    And, all the time this was going on (and right up to today), we have a “sporting” Association who have not had had one Unionist play at County level, for any county in Northern Ireland, IN IT’S ENTIRE HISTORY!

    In fact, how many “Protestants” from Northern Ireland have played Senior County GAA in the past 40 years?

    I think there’s a lot more “kicking and screaming” to be done, before we have “equality and fairness” within sport in Northern Ireland.

    The wrongs of the past are being put right. Some more quickly than others.

  • the original sam maguire

    “And, all the time this was going on (and right up to today), we have a “sporting” Association who have not had had one Unionist play at County level, for any county in Northern Ireland, IN IT’S ENTIRE HISTORY!

    In fact, how many “Protestants” from Northern Ireland have played Senior County GAA in the past 40 years?

    I think there’s a lot more “kicking and screaming” to be done, before we have “equality and fairness” within sport in Northern Ireland. ”

    Without getting into the rest of your argument (primarily because I’m not that concerned with soccer) I’ll comment on the above.

    Factually, it’s inaccurate – Peter Withnell played on the Down All Ireland winning side of the early 90s.

    The lack of Unionist participation at county level may (and probably will be) used as the next big stick to beat the GAA by Unionist politicians, however you have Controlled schools refusing to let GAA coaches through the door at primary level and you have schools such as Limavady Grammar canceling GAA coaching sessions after school. For me, that just illustrates the psyche of many Unionists in a nutshell. The parents are making the choice of non participation for the children at the age when the skills are being developed properly – how can anyone be realistically expected to participate at a high level when this is occurring. You can’t have it both ways – be apathetic or negative if you wish, but please don’t shed crocodile tears about the lack of Unionist playing at a high (or indeed, any) level when self exclusion is the primary reason rather than anything else.

    There are a few non-Irish nationals starting to make an impact at second level within the schools – they’ve been playing for a few years and wouldn’t have been too familiar with the GAA beforehand – it just goes to show that early participation is the key – the acid test will be to see of they can make the jump to county Minor / Senior Levels.

    Do you honestly believe that someone that starts playing soccer at say 17 or 18 for whatever reason would even be good enough to make it at Linfield?

    Incidentally, good luck to JP at Linfield, I’ve came across him on the field a few times against the Sigersons and he’s a very decent civil lad [and when you consider that he’s from Strabane, this is no mean feat 😉 ]

  • Doctor Who

    the original sam maguire

    I see it is the Unionist establishments fault that next to zero non-Catholics in NI paly GAA, nothing of course to do with such things like naming clubs after republican terrorists.

    I personaly hate having to drag the GAA into things, but unfortuately any thread hat mentions NI football brings out the same liars and trolls, so all I say is look closer to home because there may be something you can change for the better.

    The future of Northern Ireland football will be decided by those who have a genuine interest in protecting it. I expect it´s the same within the GAA.

  • Realist

    Doctor Who,

    “The future of Northern Ireland football will be decided by those who have a genuine interest in protecting it”

    Never a truer word spoken.

    the original Sam Maguire,

    “Factually, it’s inaccurate – Peter Withnell played on the Down All Ireland winning side of the early 90s”

    Was Withnell a Unionist? Washe even born in Northern Ireland?

    I belief he used to get dogs abuse from opposing supporters on account off his (perceived) religious denomination? Is that true?

    “You can’t have it both ways – be apathetic or negative if you wish, but please don’t shed crocodile tears about the lack of Unionist playing at a high (or indeed, any) level when self exclusion is the primary reason rather than anything else

    Right back at you in terms of nationalist/republican support for the Northern Ireland football team.

    Self exclusion.

    “Do you honestly believe that someone that starts playing soccer at say 17 or 18 for whatever reason would even be good enough to make it at Linfield?”

    Linfield Football Club have players at ages 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, and above, from strongly nationalist backrounds, who love playing for the Club.

    “Incidentally, good luck to JP at Linfield, I’ve came across him on the field a few times against the Sigersons and he’s a very decent civil lad [and when you consider that he’s from Strabane, this is no mean feat ;-)”

    I was aware that he was an excellent GAA player.

    He is a great bloke, a fine footballer, and is a most welcome addition to the Linfield FC Senior squad. The fans are very taken by him – dedicated, committed, and a bloody good full back. A firm favourite.

    Mark McAllister is another who has recently signed for Linfield FC, who is an excellent GAA player.

    Oran Kearney coaches GAA, Billy Joe Burns (what a prospect he is!) is yet another who gave up a promising GAA career to dedicate himself to the Linfield FC cause.

    Of course, our goalkeeping coach did some work with one of the Senior GAA County sides last year too.

    The links between Linfield FC and the GAA are growing all the time! 🙂

  • the original sam maguire

    “The future of Northern Ireland football will be decided by those who have a genuine interest in protecting it. I expect it´s the same within the GAA”

    Exactly, and that’s why I have no interest in rehashing the same tired old arguments on a valid thread regarding Stadiums.

    To stay on topic, I have absolutely no issue with the Assembly building a 20k Stadium (I fought the urge to provisionally name it) on Ormeau Park, providing equivalent funds are made available for various GAA infrastructural projects at club, county and provincial level. 6 million for the Tyrone’s project at Garvaghy would be an excellent start.

  • Realist

    “To stay on topic, I have absolutely no issue with the Assembly building a 20k Stadium (I fought the urge to provisionally name it) on Ormeau Park, providing equivalent funds are made available for various GAA infrastructural projects at club, county and provincial level. 6 million for the Tyrone’s project at Garvaghy would be an excellent start”

    I doubt it would be in Ormeau Park Sam.

    But, anyway, I agree with your sentiments entirely – it is important that all sports benefit from the outcome of “the stadium debate”.

  • Lord Charles

    Why should I care whether a Protestant who won an All-Ireland medal is a Unionist or not?