As part of the Irish FA’s continuing implementation of Club Licensing policies, the Licensing Committee met via video conference on Thursday 23 April 2020 to consider applications for the award of UEFA, Premiership, Promotion and Championship Licenses for season 2020-21.

In line with the current UEFA, Premiership, Promotion and Championship Licensing Manuals, applicant clubs were assessed in five key areas: Sporting, Infrastructure/Safety, Personnel and Administration, Legal and Financial.

Based on these entirely objective criteria licences were granted / refused to the following clubs:


Ballymena United FC

Cliftonville FC

Coleraine FC

Crusaders FC

Dungannon Swifts FC 

Glenavon FC

Glentoran FC

Larne FC 

Linfield FC

Clubs who have been refused a licence have the right of appeal, in line with 3.2.7. of the Club Licensing manual(s) with any such appeals tentatively scheduled for 9 May 2020.

Club Licences are valid for one season only, namely 2020-21.

The Committee wishes to congratulate those clubs who have been granted a Club Licence and acknowledge the efforts of many key personnel at each club for the time and contributions they have made towards the successful application.

Licensing Committee Chairman, Allen McKinstry, commented: “In the current unprecedented circumstances in which we find ourselves, I want to publicly acknowledge the tremendous efforts of the many club personnel, IFA Club Licensing staff, criteria experts and Licensing Committee members for their collective efforts in ensuring that licensing applications and decisions were able to be completed on schedule. In very challenging circumstances over recent weeks, it has taken an immense effort by everyone involved to conclude this year’s licensing process.

“Whilst I do not tend to single out any club in the licensing process, it would be remiss not to mention the achievement of Linfield (Ladies) FC in being the first women’s team in Northern Ireland to achieve the required licence for participation in the UEFA Women’s Champions League following its mandatory introduction for the 2020-21 UEFA competition season. 

“Of course, I look forward to when we can once again enjoy football on the pitch in Northern Ireland but more importantly at this time, our immediate thoughts remain with those affected by the outbreak of COVID-19.”