Football

New League Of Ireland Format Makes Promotion A Rather Gruelling Task

New League Of Ireland Format Makes Promotion A Rather Gruelling Task

The FAI have today announced a revamped format for next year's League of Ireland promotion/relegation playoffs - and it is not straight-forward.

In the First Division, with the top club earning automatic promotion (replacing the club who finishes 10th in the Premier Division), those clubs who finish 2nd, 3rd and 4th will enter a series of playoff rounds.

Initially, the teams that finish 3rd and 4th with play one another, with the winner of that tie playing the team that finished 2nd.

As if that wasn't enough, the team that comes out on top here will then play the side who finishes 9th in the Premier Division for a place in the top flight the following season.

All of these playoff ties will be played over two-legs.

So, prospectively, the club finishing 3rd or 4th in the First Division must play 6 additional games at the end of the season if promotion is to be earned.

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Yet, this isn't necessarily as gruelling as it first seems; the First Division season will be a 27 game affair before entering this playoff series. Not the best of news perhaps for those finishing 5th or lower.

With the new 10 team Premier Division being carried out over a 36 game season, the top flight will kick off on February 16th, a week before the First Division commences.

In other scheduling news, The President's Cup will be contested between Dundalk and Cork City in Dundalk's Oriel Park on Sunday, February 11th.

The fixture list for the forthcoming season is set to be released on Tuesday, December 19th at 12.00 noon.

See Also: Robbie Brady's Match-Winner Guides Burnley Into Premier League's Top 6

Arthur James O'Dea

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