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Pictured at Windsor Park (L-R) Aubry Ralph, Chairman of the Irish FA Premiership Management Committee; Gerry Mallon, Northern Bank Chief Executive, and Patrick Nelson, Irish FA Chief Executive.


THE Irish FA today announced Danske Bank as the new title sponsor of the Premiership.

The Danske Bank Premiership, as the league will now be named, kicks off on 11th August and marks a significant investment by the bank in local football.

Danske Bank is the parent company of local bank Northern Bank, which will rebrand as Danske Bank in November.

Irish FA Chief Executive Patrick Nelson is excited by the new sponsorship, saying:   "We are absolutely delighted to announce this sponsorship.  The Danske Bank Premiership is the flagship competition in domestic football in Northern Ireland and is followed by thousands of loyal supporters each week.

"Danske Bank is a great example of the calibre of partners that we are attracting and working with. This investment into the highest level of our local game will be a huge support in developing the league; and along with media exposure, will undoubtedly help to raise the Premiership’s profile and attendance at games around the country."

Northern Bank Chief Executive Gerry Mallon said: "The Danske Bank Premiership is a really significant and exciting sponsorship for us and marks the first time our new brand identity will be visible in the market. This is another sign of Danske Bank's commitment to the local market.  Like ourselves, the Irish FA has a long heritage in Northern Ireland as an integral part of the local community so this Premiership sponsorship is a great fit for both organisations.  We look forward to working in partnership with the Irish FA and to the start of the new season."

The opening fixtures in the 2012/13 Danske Bank Premiership see champions Linfield travel to Ballymena United, whilst newcomers Ballinamallard United open with a home fixture against Dungannon Swifts.  Cliftonville welcome Glenavon to Solitude, Coleraine face Crusaders, Glentoran play Donegal Celtic, and Portadown tackle Lisburn Distillery in what is sure to be an exciting open day in the Danske Bank Premiership.

Danske Bank Premiership – Saturday 11th August 2012  (3pm kick-off)
Ballinamallard United  v. Dungannon Swifts
Ballymena United  v.  Linfield
Cliftonville v. Glenavon
Coleraine  v.  Crusaders
Glentoran  v.  Donegal Celtic
Portadown  v.  Lisburn Distillery