First Division clubs discuss promotion changes

Under current plans, the league champions are the only team promoted

First Division clubs discuss promotion changes

Photo by: ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

The changes of the League of Ireland structure has placed an unnecessary strain on First Division clubs ahead of the forthcoming season.

The Premier Division is to reduce from 12 clubs to ten at the end of the 2017 season. That means the 2018 season will see then clubs in both divisions.

Currently, only one team is scheduled to be promoted from the First Division next season. Compared to recent years, there will be no play-off for teams in second and third place, with the champions earning automatic promotion.

According to The Sun, all eight teams met in Wexford last weekend, with a view to making the second-tier more competitive. Last season, Limerick won the First Division by 23-points. Longford Town Waterford FC are going into the season as favourites for the title.

One proposal that was reported raised was the idea that no team would gain automatic promotion. At the end of the season, second would play third, with the winners of that tie facing the table-toppers.

While the format has to be agreed on, it will need broad support from First Division clubs. Premier Division teams are unlikely to vote against the format, as long as their spots are not altered.

The First Division season begins on February 24th.