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Last Updated: Tuesday, 14 August 2007, 07:39 GMT 08:39 UK
Crusaders lodge new league appeal
IFA chief Howard Wells
IFA chief Howard Wells has said radical reform is necessary
Crusaders have lodged an appeal against the grading system in relation to the new IFA Invitational League which will be launched next year.

Crusaders, along with Larne, Institute, Limavady United and Donegal Celtic, lie outside the top 12 in the ratings which will determine the new structure.

The Seaview side feel the club has been unfairly treated regarding venue, women's football and stewarding.

A re-assessment of clubs is planned at the end of the current season.

It is proposed that the top 11 clubs will be invited to join the League.

The final position will be determined by way of a play-off involving the four clubs ranked 12th to 15th.

The Irish FA worked closely with the Irish Premier League in developing an assessment criteria which has been approved by the IFA Executive Committee.

Clubs were invited to submit applications to join the new League with comprehensive details in respect of their sporting achievements, infrastructure, finances, business plan, personnel and match attendances all considered.

Their applications have been assessed and scored by an independent assessment panel who submitted a report of their findings and a list of interim rankings to the IFA chief executive, Howard Wells.

An interim board was then established to consider the next steps and prepare for the new League with three representatives appointed by the IFA Executive and three representatives appointed by the Premier League Committee.

The IFAP Board has already determined that the new League will comprise 12 clubs and will commence in season 2008-09.

The interim rankings were outlined to clubs prior to the commencement of the coming season at their request as they were keen to learn what they must achieve in order to make the grade.

The IFA has emphasised that clubs who do not acquire a domestic club licence will not be permitted to take part in the new league irrespective of their ranking position.

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