Linfield Football Club has just commissioned a Facilities Audit at Windsor Park. This is essentially to identify the ever increasing and exacting standards demanded by UEFA/FIFA, alongside government recommendations with respect to Heath and Safety at Sports Grounds and the current Disability Discrimination legislation.
This will allow appropriate action to be taken where deficits are found, and will assist the club in maintaining and future proofing its current excellent safety record. The Club Chairman David Crawford said, "This is a proactive and positive move by Linfield to ensure that Windsor Park remains fit for purpose now and in the foreseeable future. Our priority is to ensure the safety and comfort of everyone who comes to enjoy football here."
The draft report has indeed highlighted certain areas, in particular the wooden structure of the Railway Stand and part of the South Stand. With respect to the latter, extensive fireproofing was carried out over many months following the Taylor report. These immediate concerns have been addressed at a meeting of personnel from the Fire Authority, Belfast City Council, Sports Council Northern Ireland, the IFA and Linfield earlier this week.
Conditions stipulated by the Fire and Rescue Service NI will be implemented in their entirety at the forthcoming internationals.
Outlining the situation David Crawford stated, "Yes, the audit, as expected, has pointed out areas for improvement which would be in keeping with our ongoing strategy for Windsor Park, and as such is welcomed by the Management Committee.
We commissioned the review and will implement its findings over an agreed timescale for all parties involved.
In the meantime as we approach a number of important games we have implemented interim safety measures as agreed by the licensing authorities.
I can assure fans attending the forthcoming internationals that their safety will not be compromised in any manner.
There are other non-safety issues in this draft report to be addressed and following financial costing these will be submitted for approval, funding and implementation."