FAI board approves decision to restart League of Ireland

By Brendan O'Brien

The FAI board has approved the decision of the National League Executive Committee (NLEC) to restart the SSE Airtricity League at the month's end.

This may not be the end of it, of course.

The NLEC made its decision on Tuesday but interim FAI deputy chairman Niall Quinn had no sooner spoken enthusiastically about it being a good day for football when the fractures behind the scenes began to splinter into the public domain.

Sligo Rovers and Waterford were two of the Premier League clubs most vocal in their anger at the decision to opt for one automatic relegation place and another to be decided via a play-off against the winners of a First Division playoff.

Nine of the Premier League clubs had advocated just the one relegation slot. The tenth was Shamrock Rovers who happened to have a crucial vote on the NLEC and pitched their lot in with the idea that the second-from-bottom in the top tier should fight for their right to stay up.

The decision to play just 18 games, half the usual amount, has been met with criticism as well.

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