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League of Ireland to resume on July 31 following vote by clubs

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Dundalk and Shamrock Rovers will battle it out for the title when play resumes

Dundalk and Shamrock Rovers will battle it out for the title when play resumes

SPORTSFILE

Dundalk and Shamrock Rovers will battle it out for the title when play resumes

The 2020 League of Ireland season will resume on July 31, under the existing season format which allows for a promotion and relegation play-off, following a vote by clubs today.

Nine Premier Division Division clubs had been pushing to change the season structure, where there would be one automatic relegation place and one team promoted but no play-offs

But the nine First Division clubs, with Shamrock Rovers on their side, wanted to keep the current format and that vote won the day.

The vote was then conveyed to an 11am meeting of the National League Executive Committee.

That decision was then relayed to clubs in an email today, the season to start on July 31 with all business, including promotion and relegation, wrapped up by December 4.

The nine top flight clubs were taken aback by the loss of the vote which was also believed to be the stance favoured by senior FAI officials who tried to rally support for the one up, one down idea in a series of phone calls on Monday night.

A statement from the FAI read: "The National League Executive Committee has ruled that the SSE Airtricity League will resume from July 31st with two rounds of matches in total, including games played to date, and promotion and relegation as scheduled at the start of the 2020 season. This decision has been sent to the board of the FAI for ratification.

"Following a meeting at Abbotstown this morning, the NLEC has written to all clubs informing them that it has decided on Option one of the four options available for a resumption of the SSE Airtricity League.

"Option one maintains the current position with the League to resume as planned with two rounds of fixtures, 18 in total, and counting results of matches played to date. One club will be automatically promoted to the Premier Division from the First Division, with one club automatically relegated.

"A Play-Off will take place between the ninth placed Premier Division club and the winner of the First Division play-off series involving the teams that finish 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th in the First Division. The winner of the Play-Off will play in the Premier Division of the SSE Airtricity League in the 2021 season.

"The SSE Airtricity League is set to resume on July 31st and fixtures will be announced in due course."

Online Editors