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2008–09 IFA Premiership

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Title: 2008–09 IFA Premiership  
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Subject: Glentoran F.C., Institute F.C., Alan McDonald (association football), NIFL Premiership, Colin Nixon, Michael Halliday (footballer), Gary Hamilton (footballer born 1980)
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2008–09 IFA Premiership

IFA Premiership
Season 2008–09
Champions Glentoran
23rd Irish title
Relegated Bangor[1]
UEFA Champions League Glentoran
UEFA Europa League Linfield
Crusaders
Lisburn Distillery
Matches played 228
Goals scored 619 (2.71 per match)
Biggest home win Linfield 7–0 Institute
Biggest away win Bangor 0–5 Crusaders
Bangor 0–5 Linfield
Crusaders 0–5 Linfield
Highest scoring Dungannon 3–6 Crusaders

The 2008–09 IFA Premiership was the first season after a major overhaul of the league system in Northern Ireland. It was scheduled to begin on 9 August 2008. However, the start of the league was postponed for a week due to a referees' strike.[2][3] The last games were played on 2 May 2009. Linfield were the defending champions.

Team changes from 2007–08

The league was reduced from sixteen to twelve teams due to a competition restructuration by the Irish FA.

Five of last season's sixteen Premier League teams failed to gain a place in the new twelve-team Premiership, and one new team - Bangor - gained entry from the IFA Intermediate League.

Of the five teams who missed out, three - Armagh City, Larne and Limavady United failed to obtain the necessary domestic licence. Portadown obtained a licence, but was controversially excluded because a club official missed a deadline for submitting an application form by several minutes. Finally, Donegal Celtic obtained a licence, but was ranked thirteenth in the entry list, and thus missed out by one place.

Team overview

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Belfast
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Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character "[".">Belfast clubs: Cliftonville
Crusaders
Glentoran
Linfield
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Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character "[".">Ballymena United
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Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character "[".">Bangor
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Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character "[".">Coleraine
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Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character "[".">Institute
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Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character "[".">Newry City
Location of teams in the 2008–09 IFA Premiership
Club Stadium Town/city Capacity
Ballymena United The Showgrounds Ballymena 8,000 (4000 seats)
Bangor Clandeboye Park Bangor 4,000
Cliftonville Solitude Belfast 8,000 (2099 seats)
Coleraine The Showgrounds Coleraine 6,500 (1500 seats)
Crusaders Seaview Belfast 6,500
Dungannon Swifts Stangmore Park Dungannon 3,000 (300 seats)
Glenavon Mourneview Park Lurgan 5,500 (4000 seats)
Glentoran The Oval Belfast 15,250 (5000 seats)
Institute YMCA Grounds Drumahoe 4,000 (600 seats)
Linfield Windsor Park Belfast 20,400 (14,400 seats)
Lisburn Distillery New Grosvenor Stadium Lisburn 8,000 (2000 seats)
Newry City The Showgrounds Newry 6,500 (800 seats)

League table

Pos
Team
Pld
W
D
L
GF
GA
GD
Pts
Qualification or relegation
1 Glentoran (C) 38 24 9 5 63 36 +27 81 2009–10 UEFA Champions League Second qualifying round 2
2 Linfield 38 24 8 6 69 28 +41 80 2009–10 UEFA Europa League First qualifying round 2
3 Crusaders 38 16 14 8 63 45 +18 62 2009–10 UEFA Europa League Second qualifying round 1,2
4 Lisburn Distillery 38 15 11 12 53 41 +12 56 2009–10 UEFA Europa League First qualifying round 1
5 Coleraine 38 15 6 17 46 51 −5 51
6 Cliftonville 38 12 14 12 52 48 +4 50
7 Institute 38 13 9 16 47 55 −8 48
8 Newry City 38 11 11 16 47 57 −10 44
9 Glenavon 38 11 8 19 49 63 −14 41
10 Ballymena United 38 11 8 19 39 57 −18 41
11 Bangor (R) 38 9 9 20 42 67 −25 36 Relegation to 2009–10 IFA Championship 1 3
12 Dungannon Swifts (O) 38 8 11 19 49 71 −22 35 Promotion/relegation play-off

Source: rsssf.com
Rules for classification: 1st points; 2nd goal difference; 3rd number of goals scored; 4th head-to-head points; 5th head-to-head goal difference.
1Crusaders won the 2008–09 Irish Cup and qualified for the second qualifying round of the UEFA Europa League. Therefore, the fourth placed team also earned a spot in Europa League.
2Team also qualified for the 2009–10 Setanta Sports Cup.
3On 2 February 2009 Bangor announced that they would not be able to renew their Domestic License due to financial difficulties, and therefore would not compete in the 2009–10 IFA Premiership.[1] However, they continued to play matches in this seasons Premiership.
(C) = Champion; (R) = Relegated; (P) = Promoted; (E) = Eliminated; (O) = Play-off winner; (A) = Advances to a further round.
Only applicable when the season is not finished:
(Q) = Qualified to the phase of tournament indicated; (TQ) = Qualified to tournament, but not yet to the particular phase indicated; (DQ) = Disqualified from tournament.

Results

Matches 34–38

During matches 34–38 each team played every other team in their half of the table once (either at home or away).

Promotion/relegation play-off

The relegation/promotion system was slightly modified because Bangor, who withdrew from the next IFA Premiership season, eventually finished 11th. It meant that last placed Dungannon Swifts played a two-legged match against Donegal Celtic, runners-up of the 2008–09 IFA Championship, for one spot in the 2009–10 IFA Premiership. The score was 2–2 on aggregate, but Dungannon Swifts secured their spot in the following IFA Premiership season by winning on away goals.

5 May 2009
19:45 BST
Donegal Celtic 2 – 1 Dungannon Swifts
Lyons Goal 8'
McDonald Goal 87'
Report Adamson Goal 50'

8 May 2009
19:45 BST
Dungannon Swifts 1 – 0 Donegal Celtic
Adamson Goal 29' Report

2–2 on aggregate. Dungannon Swifts won on away goals rule and remained in the IFA Premiership.

References

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