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League of Ireland season set to be extended from next year

The 2017 campaign will begin earlier than usual, according to Fran Gavin.

SSE Airtricity League director Fran Gavin.
SSE Airtricity League director Fran Gavin.
Image: Donall Farmer/INPHO

THERE ARE PLANS to extend the length of the SSE Airtricity League season in an effort to deal with fixture congestion.

Instead of beginning in early March as per usual, the 2017 campaign is likely to start at an earlier date at the end of February to help clubs fulfill their matches after seeing Dundalk’s run in Europe and the FAI Cup cause scheduling issues this term.

FAI competitions director Fran Gavin revealed yesterday that the changes will be made official in the coming weeks without going into further detail.

“There’s a recognition from everybody that, as the league grows and our teams do better in Europe, you need to look at the structure of the league,” Gavin told the Irish Mirror.

You need to look at the length of the season to see if you can fit those in. Over the next few weeks we’ll make some announcements around that.

“Particularly around starting the league a little bit earlier — that will be a possibility from next year.”

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