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All clubs back FAI's league role

THE FAI is set to continue the running of the League of Ireland past 2011 after it was announced yesterday that all 22 senior clubs voted to renew the merger once the current agreement expires next year.

While there had been a degree of disquiet amongst some of the league's clubs over the FAI's handling of the Limerick-Barcelona fiasco, it was expected that the clubs would give the Abbotstown association their backing through the postal vote. From its foundation up until 2006, the league had been controlled by the participating members before they entered a five-year merger with the FAI.

Since 2006, a number of new measures have come into effect within the league, with a new third tier -- the 'A' Championship -- introduced in 2008.

Ireland's domestic league also became the first major league in Europe to introduce a Salary Cost Protocol in 2007, which meant that clubs could not spend more that 65pc of their income on players' wages.

Prize funds for the clubs in the league, meanwhile, have increased by 123pc since the FAI took over the league, with €911,000 of prize money being awarded this season.

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