2010–11 IFA Premiership

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IFA Premiership
Season 2010–11
Champions Linfield
50th Irish title
Relegated Newry City
UEFA Champions League Linfield
UEFA Europa League Crusaders
Matches played 228
Goals scored 681 (2.99 per match)
Top goalscorer Peter Thompson (23 goals)
Biggest home win Linfield 8–1 Crusaders
Biggest away win Lisburn Dist. 1–6 Glentoran
Highest scoring Linfield 8–1 Crusaders
Crusaders 5–4 Glenavon
Crusaders 4–5 Donegal Celtic

The 2010–11 IFA Premiership (known as the Carling Premiership for sponsorship reasons) was the third season since its establishment after a major overhaul of the league system in Northern Ireland, and the 110th season of Irish league football overall. The season began on 7 August 2010, and concluded on 30 April 2011.

Linfield were crowned champions for the second successive season, after a 4–0 win over Lisburn Distillery on 26 April 2011. This was Linfield's 50th Irish League title.[1]

The same day, Newry City were relegated to IFA Championship 1 after a 4–0 loss to Glenavon.[2]


After a two-legged play-off against 2009–10 Championship 1 runners-up Donegal Celtic, Institute were relegated to the 2010–11 IFA Championship after an aggregate 1–0 loss, with Donegal Celtic taking their place for this season's IFA Premiership.[3]

2009–10 IFA Championship 1 winners Loughgall were not eligible for promotion as they were not awarded the required domestic licence by the IFA.

Stadia and locations[edit]

Location of the Belfast-based teams in the IFA Premiership 2010-11
Club Stadium Location Capacity[4]
Ballymena United The Showgrounds Ballymena 1,418 (all seated)
Cliftonville Solitude Belfast 2,180 (1,878 seats)
Coleraine The Showgrounds Coleraine 2,496 (1,106 seats)
Crusaders Seaview Belfast 1,977 (663 seats)
Donegal Celtic Donegal Celtic Park Belfast 2,254 (988 seats)
Dungannon Swifts Stangmore Park Dungannon 5,000 (300 seats)
Glenavon Mourneview Park Lurgan 5,000 (4,000 seats)
Glentoran The Oval Belfast 5,056 (3,991 seats)
Linfield Windsor Park Belfast 12,342 (all seated)
Lisburn Distillery New Grosvenor Stadium Lisburn 7,000 (540 seats)
Newry City The Showgrounds Newry 2,275 (797 seats)
Portadown Shamrock Park Portadown 2,227 (all seated)

League table[edit]

Qualification or relegation
1 Linfield (C) 38 26 7 5 80 29 +51 85 Qualification to Champions League second qualifying round
2 Crusaders 38 23 5 10 78 59 +19 74 Qualification to Europa League second qualifying round 1
3 Glentoran 38 20 6 12 63 41 +22 66 Qualification to Europa League first qualifying round
4 Cliftonville 38 17 7 14 60 56 +4 58
5 Portadown 38 15 5 18 49 58 −9 50
6 Lisburn Distillery 38 14 6 18 50 66 −16 48
7 Coleraine2 38 17 5 16 51 50 +1 56
8 Dungannon Swifts2 38 14 9 15 50 53 −3 51
9 Ballymena United2 38 12 13 13 48 56 −8 49
10 Glenavon 38 12 9 17 60 59 +1 45
11 Donegal Celtic 38 8 8 22 55 89 −34 32
12 Newry City (R) 38 6 8 24 37 65 −28 26 Relegation to IFA Championship 1

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 qualified for the second qualifying round of the UEFA Europa League as they were the highest-placed Europa League qualifier, and 2010–11 Irish Cup winners Linfield had already qualified for the Champions League.
2After 33 games, clubs in the bottom half of the table at the split cannot climb into the top half, regardless of the number of points earned during matches 34–38.
(C) = Champion; (R) = Relegated; (P) = Promoted; (E) = Eliminated; (O) = Play-off winner; (A) = Advances to a further round.


Matches 34–38[edit]

During matches 34–38 each team played every other team in their half of the table once. As this was the fourth time that teams played each other this season, home sides in this round were chosen so that teams had played each other twice at home and twice away.


The promotion/relegation play-off was not played this season, because Championship 1 runners-up Limavady United were not eligible for promotion as they did not hold a domestic licence. This meant that Newry City were automatically relegated, with Championship 1 winners Carrick Rangers replacing them in next season's Premiership.

Top goalscorers[edit]

Rank Scorer Club Goals[5]
1 Northern Ireland Peter Thompson Linfield 23
2 Northern Ireland Paul McVeigh Donegal Celtic 19
Northern Ireland Jordan Owens Crusaders 19
4 Northern Ireland Daryl Fordyce Glentoran 17
5 Northern Ireland Stuart Dallas Crusaders 16
6 Northern Ireland Matthew Burrows Glentoran 15
7 England Leon Knight Coleraine 14
Scotland Gary McCutcheon Ballymena United 14
9 Northern Ireland Gary Hamilton Glenavon 13
Northern Ireland Ryan Henderson Donegal Celtic 13

IFA Premiership clubs in Europe 2010–11[edit]

UEFA coefficient and ranking[edit]

For the 2010–11 UEFA competitions, the associations were allocated places according to their 2009 UEFA country coefficients, which took into account their performance in European competitions from 2004–05 to 2008–09. In the 2009 rankings used for this season's European competitions, Northern Ireland's coefficient points total was 2.165. After earning a score of 0.333 during the 2008–09 European campaign, the league was ranked by UEFA as the 47th best league in Europe out of 53 - falling one place from 46th the previous season. This season Northern Ireland earned 1.125 points, which was added to the points total for the 2011 rankings used in 2012–13 UEFA competitions.

UEFA Champions League[edit]

After winning the league last season, Linfield were the league's sole representatives in the UEFA Champions League. They entered in the second qualifying round, and were drawn against Norwegian side Rosenborg. Despite being massive underdogs, Linfield recorded an unexpected 0–0 draw in the first leg at Windsor Park. However they were beaten 2–0 in the return leg in Norway, and exited the competition.

UEFA Europa League[edit]

Portadown earned a place in the first qualifying round of the UEFA Europa League because Irish Cup winners Linfield had already qualified for the UEFA Champions League as league champions. They entered the first qualifying round with 2009–10's third placed team, Glentoran. Portadown were drawn with Latvian side Skonto Riga, who were knocked out by League of Ireland side Derry City in the 2009–10 UEFA Europa League. Glentoran were handed a tie with Icelandic club KR Reykjavik. The first legs gave mixed results, with Portadown getting a creditable 1–1 draw at home while Glentoran being defeated 3–0 in Iceland. Glentoran were knocked out in the second leg despite a battling 2–2 draw. Portadown got one of the best European results in the league's recent history when they beat Skonto Riga 1–0 in Latvia, thus putting them through 2–1.

After beating Skonto Riga in the last round, Portadown faced Qarabag from Azerbaijan. They almost produced another shock in the first leg before ending up losing 2–1. In the second leg they earned a creditable 1–1 draw, but exited the competition 3–2 on aggregate. As second-placed finishers in last season's domestic league, Cliftonville entered in the second qualifying round, where they played HNK Cibalia from Croatia. In the first leg in Belfast they came out on top following a 1–0 win. In the second leg they held out for a 0–0 draw, going through 1–0 on aggregate.

In the third qualifying round, Cliftonville were drawn against Bulgarian giants CSKA Sofia. In the first leg in Sofia, Cliftonville were defeated 3–0, and were then defeated 2–1 in the second leg back in Belfast, losing the tie 5–1 on aggregate.


  1. ^ "Lisburn Distillery 0-4 Linfield". BBC Sport. BBC. 26 April 2011. Archived from the original on 29 April 2011. Retrieved 26 April 2011. 
  2. ^ "Newry City 0-4 Glenavon". BBC Sport. BBC. 26 April 2011. Archived from the original on 29 April 2011. Retrieved 26 April 2011. 
  3. ^ "Institute 0–1 Donegal Celtic". BBC Sport. BBC. 14 May 2010. Archived from the original on 17 May 2010. Retrieved 14 May 2010. 
  4. ^ "Written Answers Booklet 23.10.10". niassembly.gov.uk. 23 October 2010. Retrieved 23 November 2011. 
  5. ^ "IFA PREMIERSHIP - TOP GOAL SCORERS". ifapremiership.com. IFA Premiership. Retrieved 26 April 2011.