Windsor Park funding faces legal challenge from Crusaders

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The upgrade of Windsor Park into an 18,000 all-seater stadium is given the go-ahead and should be completed by the summer of 2015.

A £25 million upgrade to Windsor Park football stadium could be jeopardised by a legal challenge to the funding plans, the High Court has heard.

Irish Football Association (IFA) counsel claim delays in resolving the case may cast doubt over government cash to redevelop Windsor Park.

Crusaders FC are seeking to judicially review the plans amid claims they breach European Union competition laws.

A lack of transparency surrounding the scheme has also been alleged.

The Irish League club claims funding the Windsor Park project would be a form of state aid to Linfield, one of its main rivals and stadium owners.

According to Crusaders' case the proposals would create unfair revenue streams as well as superior facilities at the south Belfast ground.

The Windsor Park redevelopment is part of a redevelopment plan that also includes the Ulster rugby ground at Ravenhill and the GAA's Casement Park.

A total of £110m has been allocated for the three building projects through the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure.

In court, Crusaders' barrister, Peter Girvan, said his clients are still seeking an outline business case document as part of their challenge.

A hearing listed to decide whether the case had enough merit to proceed was put back for four weeks for clarification on issues to do with European Commission involvement.

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