Larne Football Club has been awarded a Club Licence by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), enabling it to compete in UEFA competitions in the upcoming 2020/21 season for the first time in its history.
The UEFA club licensing system sets out list of rigorous criteria that clubs must fulfil in order for to be eligible to participate in a UEFA club competition.
In line with the current UEFA, Premiership, Promotion and Championship Licensing Manuals, Larne Football Club was assessed across five key areas – sporting, infrastructure/safety, personnel and administration, and legal and financial – before being awarded the licence.
Congratulating Larne FC, Mid and East Antrim Councillor Paul Reid, a former chaplain of the Club, commented: “Club licensing is now an established part of the football landscape in Northern Ireland, necessitating exceptionally high standards being consistently maintained.
“This UEFA licence is well-deserved recognition of Larne FC’s commitment to promoting and continuously improving the standard of all aspects of football at the Club. Underpinned by a significant amount of investment, in recent years we have seen the complete transformation of the Club – not least in terms of the tremendous new facilities at Inver Park and its youth development programme.
According to Councillor Reid, the Club has always been at the heart of the local community. “The Club’s outreach and support for those most vulnerable in the local area during the COVID-19 pandemic has been truly outstanding,” he said.
“Larne FC has been part of the fabric of the town for generations and will be for many more years, thanks especially to the commitment of Kenny Bruce. This good news for the club is good news for the entire town and the wider Mid and East Antrim borough.
Paying tribute to the players, staff and volunteers at the Club, Larne FC chief Kenny Bruce said: “The award of this license is the culmination of a huge amount of commitment and effort by our players and everyone at the Club.
“When I purchased the Club in 2017, I set out an ambitious plan to deliver first-class facilities, a team that we are proud of who are competing for top domestic honours and playing in Europe, and to have a thriving relationship with Larne Youth. We have made huge progress to date, and this UEFA licence takes us one step further to fulfilling that ambition.”
Mr Bruce said the Club’s success to date has been championed at every stage by Mid and East Antrim Borough Council.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the councillors, CEO Anne Donaghy and her team of officers for their continued support and the faith they have shown in the Club.”