2007–08 Irish Premier League

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Irish Premier League
Season 2007–08
Champions Linfield
48th Irish title
Relegated Armagh City
Donegal Celtic
Larne
Limavady United
Portadown
UEFA Champions League Linfield
UEFA Cup Cliftonville
Glentoran
UEFA Intertoto Cup Lisburn Distillery
Matches played 240
Goals scored 698 (2.91 per match)
Top goalscorer Peter Thompson
(29 goals)
Biggest home win Glenavon 5–0 Armagh City
Linfield 5–0 Crusaders
Linfield 5–0 Newry City
Lisburn Distillery 5–0 Limavady United
Biggest away win Armagh City 0–5 Glentoran
Highest scoring Dungannon Swifts 4–6 Newry City
Location of the Belfast-based teams in the Irish Premier League 2007-08

The 2007–08 Irish Premier League was the fifth and final season of Northern Ireland's national football league in this format since its inception in 2003, and the 107th season of Irish league football overall. This was the last season of the competition before the league system in Northern Ireland was restructured. The 2008–09 competition onwards would be re-branded as the IFA Premiership, with stricter rules governing the eligibility of clubs wishing to take part. The top tier of the Northern Irish league system would also be reduced in size from sixteen clubs, to twelve.

The season began on 22 September 2007, and ended on 26 April 2008. Linfield were the defending champions, and successfully defended their title, winning their 48th title by 3 points. Five teams were relegated to the newly introduced IFA Championship for the following season.

League table[edit]

Pos
Team
Pld
W
D
L
GF
GA
GD
Pts
Qualification or relegation
1 Linfield (C) 30 23 5 2 71 18 +53 74 2008–09 UEFA Champions League First Qualifying Round
2 Glentoran 30 22 5 3 69 24 +45 71 2008–09 UEFA Cup First Qualifying Round
3 Cliftonville 30 18 6 6 55 32 +23 60
4 Lisburn Distillery 30 17 7 6 50 28 +22 58 2008 UEFA Intertoto Cup First Round
5 Portadown (R) 30 15 2 13 44 39 +5 47 Relegation to 2008–09 IFA Championship
6 Ballymena United 30 12 8 10 42 41 +1 44
7 Crusaders 30 12 7 11 45 47 −2 43
8 Newry City 30 13 4 13 45 52 −7 43
9 Coleraine 30 11 7 12 41 50 −9 40
10 Dungannon Swifts 30 9 9 12 38 44 −6 36
11 Donegal Celtic (R) 30 9 8 13 39 47 −8 35 Relegation to 2008–09 IFA Championship
12 Glenavon 30 9 3 18 37 51 −14 30
13 Larne (R) 30 7 4 19 44 71 −27 25 Relegation to 2008–09 IFA Championship
14 Institute 30 5 8 17 23 41 −18 23
15 Limavady United (R) 30 6 5 19 26 57 −31 23 Relegation to 2008–09 IFA Championship
16 Armagh City (R) 30 5 6 19 29 56 −27 21

Source: rsssf.com
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) goal difference; 3) number of goals scored
(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; (RQ) = Qualified to the relegation tournament indicated; (DQ) = Disqualified from tournament.

Results[edit]

Each team played every other team twice (home and away) for a total of 30 games.

Home ╲ Away ARM BYM CLI COL CRU DGC DUN GLA GLT INS LRN LIM LIN LIS NEW POR
Armagh City 1–2 0–1 0–1 2–2 1–1 0–1 2–0 0–5 1–1 2–5 1–0 1–3 4–1 1–2 1–1
Ballymena United 2–1 0–1 2–0 2–2 0–0 0–0 0–0 0–4 2–1 3–0 3–0 0–4 2–2 2–1 2–1
Cliftonville 2–1 3–2 1–2 0–1 5–1 2–1 3–3 4–2 2–0 1–1 4–1 2–2 2–2 2–0 2–1
Coleraine 2–0 1–1 0–3 3–3 3–2 2–2 0–1 1–4 2–1 4–1 1–0 1–4 1–4 0–1 1–1
Crusaders 1–1 3–0 1–1 3–4 2–0 1–0 2–1 0–2 1–0 4–1 2–1 0–3 1–3 4–1 0–2
Donegal Celtic 3–0 0–2 0–2 1–1 3–0 3–1 2–0 3–3 0–1 4–3 3–1 1–1 1–2 2–3 0–1
Dungannon Swifts 5–1 2–1 1–0 4–1 1–1 0–0 1–4 0–0 0–1 1–0 0–2 4–0 0–3 4–6 0–3
Glenavon 5–0 1–2 1–2 1–0 0–4 0–1 1–2 1–2 2–0 2–3 0–3 0–2 2–3 1–0 0–3
Glentoran 1–0 2–4 2–1 2–1 3–0 5–1 1–1 3–0 4–0 1–0 3–0 1–0 2–2 2–1 3–1
Institute 1–1 1–1 1–2 0–0 3–1 1–1 1–0 2–3 1–2 0–1 0–0 0–1 0–2 0–2 1–2
Larne 0–2 2–1 1–2 1–2 0–3 4–2 3–3 3–4 0–3 1–2 2–2 1–5 1–2 3–0 1–2
Limavady United 0–3 3–1 3–1 0–0 1–2 0–1 1–1 1–0 1–0 2–2 2–3 0–4 1–2 1–3 0–2
Linfield 2–1 1–0 0–0 4–0 5–0 2–0 2–1 3–2 0–0 1–0 3–0 3–0 2–1 5–0 1–0
Lisburn Distillery 1–0 0–2 1–2 2–0 1–0 0–1 1–1 0–0 1–2 0–0 2–0 5–0 0–0 1–0 1–0
Newry City 3–0 2–2 1–0 0–2 1–1 1–1 3–0 2–1 0–3 2–1 2–2 3–0 0–3 1–4 2–1
Portadown 2–1 2–1 0–2 1–5 2–0 2–1 0–1 0–1 0–2 2–1 5–1 2–0 2–5 0–1 3–2

Source: rsssf.com
^ The home team is listed in the left-hand column.
Colours: Blue = home team win; Yellow = draw; Red = away team win.

League restructuring[edit]

From the 2008–09 season onwards, the league system in Northern Ireland was re-structured. It would be renamed as the IFA Premiership, and reduced to twelve teams, included on the basis not only of their performance in the 2007–08 season, but in the previous two seasons, and other off-the-field criteria as follows. Each applicant club was assessed by an independent panel and awarded points against the following criteria:

  • Sporting – based on league placings, Irish Cup, League Cup and European performances in 2005–06, 2006–07 and 2007–08; with points also awarded for running youth teams, women's teams and community development programmes.
  • Finance – based on solvency, debt management and cash-flow projection.
  • Infrastructure – based on stadium capacity, changing provisions, sanitary facilities, field of play, floodlighting, existence and standard of control room, first aid room, drug testing room and media facilities.
  • Personnel – based on qualification and experience of staff
  • Business planning
  • Attendances

Five of this season's sixteen Premier League teams failed to gain a place in the new twelve-team Premiership and were relegated to the newly introduced IFA Championship. Of the five teams that missed out, two of them - Armagh City and Limavady United failed to obtain the necessary domestic licence, while Larne did not apply. Donegal Celtic obtained a licence, but were ranked thirteenth in the entry list, and thus missed out by one place. Finally, Portadown also obtained a licence, but were relegated to the IFA Championship as a result of submitting their application for the IFA Premiership 29 minutes past the deadline for consideration.[1] That left thirteen clubs to be ranked - twelve from this season's Premier League plus Bangor, who had finished third in the First Division.

Rankings[edit]

Rank Club Points Division Notes
1 Linfield 1339 2008–09 IFA Premiership
2 Ballymena United 1054
3 Glentoran 1016
4 Coleraine 965
5 Cliftonville 945
6 Dungannon Swifts 855
7 Glenavon 828
8 Crusaders 826
9 Lisburn Distillery 815
10 Newry City 796
11 Bangor 641 Only club from outside this season's Premier League to apply.
12 Institute 632
13 Donegal Celtic 543 2008–09 IFA Championship Missed out on the Premiership by one place.
Portadown Gained Domestic Licence, but Premiership application received past deadline.
Armagh City Applied, but failed to gain Domestic Licence.
Limavady United Applied, but failed to gain Domestic Licence.
Larne Did not apply.

Source: BBC Sport

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Portadown out of Premier League". BBC News. 2008-05-13.