Crues bosses watch Blues game from stands after directors' box ban

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Linfield end the Premiership season with a 2-1 defeat to Crusaders at Windsor Park.

Crusaders were told that the club's officials would not be welcome in the directors' box and boardroom at Saturday's game against Linfield at Windsor Park, BBC Sport NI has learned.

The decision was apparently taken by Linfield following Crusaders's legal challenge to the Windsor Park upgrade.

"Our chairman (Stephen Bell) was told on Tuesday we weren't welcome," said Crusaders secretary Harry Davidson.

Linfield have been unavailable for comment on the issue.

However, BBC Sport NI has established that Linfield did make clear to Crusaders that the Seaview club's officials would not be made welcome in both the directors' box and boardroom at the Irish Premiership game which won won 2-1 by the north Belfast club.

As a result, Crusaders officials, including the chairman, watched Saturday's game from the stands alongside their supporters.

Sections of Linfield's support are believed to be particularly angry at Crusaders's legal challenge to the proposed £25m Windsor Park upgrade and there are said to be genuine fears that it could spiral into Blues fans boycotting Seaview games next season.

Crusaders secretary Davidson also said that the customary car park passes had also been denied to his club.

"Linfield always issue tickets for the directors' box. (There were) No car park tickets either. This is the first time ever (something like that has happened) and I'm here a long time," added the Crusaders official.

Davidson insisted that the club's grievance over the proposed Windsor Park upgrade was not with Linfield but with the Department of Culture, Arts & Leisure.

"We're not complaining about Linfield. We're complaining about DCAL and the distribution of money.

"We don't look at it as being between us and Linfield but Linfield look at it in a different manner.

"We welcome everybody. What Linfield do is up to them."

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