FOOTBALL: Clubs told to watch their finances

FOOTBALL clubs in the Irish League have been warned of the potential for further economic ruin if they don't "exercise sound financial judgment".

That was the message from the Club Licensing Committee who this week

awarded their UEFA and Domestic licenses for next season.

All 12 teams currently in the Carling Premiership received domestic

approval, with Ladbrokes.com Championship promotion hopefuls Donegal Celtic successful in their application.

Fellow second tier rivals Limavady United and Larne failed in their bids to achieve domestic licenses for next season.

In announcing the successful and unsuccessful applicants, the IFA said in a statement: "In reaching their decisions the Committee noted the critical need for clubs to exercise sound financial judgment in what is a difficult economic climate.

In this sense further regulation, to support a deflationary effect on club costs, is already being prepared. Notwithstanding, some clubs must understand their own responsibility to take action which shall reduce costs immediately in order to address long standing and significant debt."

The Committee is also considering ways of facilitating increased numbers of Championship clubs having the opportunity to compete in the Premiership.

"Again work is well underway in this area and it is anticipated that revised processes for promotion and relegation shall be announced in the close season," the statement added.

Club Licensing and Facilities Manager, David McVeigh said: "In the coming season we shall be working even more closely with clubs to help them ensure that the practices which they document in their submissions to us are fully in place and are effective, meaningful and helpful on a day to day basis.

"In the coming season the IFA shall be allocating additional resource and fiscal support to clubs to help develop existing good practices within applicant clubs."

UEFA Club Licences granted: Ballymena United, Cliftonville, Coleraine, Crusaders (Solitude, Belfast), Glenavon, Glentoran, Linfield, Portadown.

Refused: Institute, Lisburn Distillery, Newry City.

Domestic Club Licences granted: All 12 Carling Premiership clubs plus Donegal Celtic

Refused: Larne, Limavady United.