14/10/2009

Cliftonville Has 'Grounds For Celebration'

There's been a substantial investment at a north Belfast soccer ground - which has already helped bring the club a giant-beating match result.

Cliftonville beat the Scottish champions, Celtic, 3-0 last night in a surprise friendly match result whose score line was the icing on the cake for the club on its 130th anniversary.

Eddie Patterson's Reds outplayed the Glasgow giants, with Chris Scannell scoring twice from headers in the first-half and doing most of the damage as Ciaran Caldwell iced the cake with the third just after the hour mark.

Earlier, the Stormont Sports Minister Nelson McCausland (pictured) officially opened the new stand and supporters' facilities at the Cliftonville Road club grounds.

He said that the investment in Cliftonville was substantial and included refurbishment of the west terrace to provide covered seating for 880 spectators in 2000-2001, and the more recent construction of a new 1,650 seat stand including crowd control point, CCTV and PA system and new toilets and turnstiles.
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Also as part of the latest investment - which was administered by SportNI - are new changing rooms and corresponding facilities under the new stand.

The new facilities represent an investment of £1.1million in the club's facilities in the last two years.

This comes on top of almost £300,000 provided to the club in 2000 for the refurbishment of the West Stand.

The Minister opened the new facilities at Solitude prior to the friendly match between Cliftonville and Glasgow Celtic.

The Minister said: "If we are to attract larger numbers of spectators to Irish League games we need to provide safer and more attractive facilities at all our football grounds.

"This new stand will help Cliftonville attract new spectators, including families, and in addition should go a long way towards assisting the club to comply with new legislation on sports grounds safety.

"I commend Cliftonville for its hard work and initiative in re-developing Solitude. It is very appropriate that the new facilities are being opened this year on Cliftonville's 130th anniversary.

"I wish the club every success in this anniversary year and for the future," he concluded.

(BMcC/KMcA)

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