Linfield and Dundalk ready for Unite the Union Champions Cup clash

Pictured at the launch of the Unite the union Champions Cup were (from left) Dundalk's Chris Shields, Irish FA President David Martin, Unite Regional Secretary Jerry Pollock, Fran Gavin from the FAI and Linfield's Bastien Hery.
Pictured at the launch of the Unite the union Champions Cup were (from left) Dundalk's Chris Shields, Irish FA President David Martin, Unite Regional Secretary Jerry Pollock, Fran Gavin from the FAI and Linfield's Bastien Hery.
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The inaugural Unite the Union Champions Cup will take place next month when Linfield and Dundalk go head-to-head in a two-legged tie.

The current Irish Premiership and League of Ireland champions will face off at Windsor Park on 8 November and Oriel Park on 11 November.

“The Champions’ Cup is a welcome addition to the football calendar,” said Irish FA president David Martin.

“I’m sure this year’s finalists will be looking forward to what should be two exciting matches.”

Former Northern Ireland goalkeeper Pat Jennings was announced as a competition ambassador.

Unite have signed a three-year deal to sponsor the cross-border tournament with €50,000 set to go to the winners, €25,000 for the runners-up and a further €25,000 ring-fenced for community-based projects in the competing teams’ local areas.

FAI Competitions Director Fran Gavin said the FAI was “thoroughly looking forward to” the Champions Cup.

He said: It has been fantastic to work with the sponsors, Unite the union, on their community initiatives and it should be an intriguing final between Dundalk and Linfield.”

Unite Regional Secretary Jackie Pollock thanked the trade union’s General Secretary, Len McCluskey, for his strong support for the cross-border initiative.

He said: “Everyone in Unite is excited at the prospect of the Champions’ Cup. Football is something that is in the veins of working class people, of their communities. It cuts across divides and brings people together.

“This is a unique initiative, not simply because it brings together the champions on a cross-border basis but because it includes a huge community investment by Unite.

“One quarter of the total funding for this initiative will go to community and voluntary groups at the frontline of delivering much needed services in the respective catchments of the clubs. We are looking forward to developing those connections.”