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SSE Airtricity League fixture list revealed ahead of July 31 restart

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The SSE Airtricity League fixture list has been released ahead of Irish football's resumption at the end of July. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile

The SSE Airtricity League fixture list has been released ahead of Irish football's resumption at the end of July. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

The SSE Airtricity League fixture list has been released ahead of Irish football's resumption at the end of July. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile

THE FAI have confirmed that League of Ireland Premier Division fixtures will be spread out across three days when the season resumes, a move tied in with an experiment to trial streaming.

Independent.ie detailed last week that the schedule after the July 31 restart would consist of the spreading out of matches with two on Friday (5.45pm and 7.45pm), two on Saturday (2pm and 5pm) and a Sunday game (5pm), although there is slight deviation in some of the Saturday and Sunday kickoff times for TV purposes.

It means Derry City will welcome Sligo Rovers to the Brandywell for a 5.45pm game to mark the resumption of competitive activities following a protracted debate around finance and formats due to the Covid-19 shutdown.

Premier clubs remain unhappy that full promotion and relegation will take place even though the season will just be 18 games long rather than the original 36-game slog.

The fixture list for the remainder of the shortened season was sent out Monday evening, with the staggered schedule to be reviewed after six weeks so all of the games listed after September 13 are subject to a change in date and time.

As it stands, the Covid-19 restrictions mean that only 500 people will be allowed in the stadium for games and that includes all match participants, officials and media.

Therefore, the streaming of matches is essential for all supporters to be able to watch their team play and the authorities want to trial the concept with a view to testing the market for the longer term.

Fans will be able to buy a package that allows them to watch all of the games with no fixture clashes on the cards during the initial six-week period.

However, the status of games shown live on RTE and Eir Sport still has to be clarified, despite missives from individual clubs stating that all matches would be available on the streaming package - Bohemians and Shelbourne have said they will buy that package for their season ticket holders.

After a long break, there will be no respite for clubs when they get back on the pitch, especially with the FAI Cup and European commitments adding to the August logjam.

St Patrick's Athletic, Finn Harps and Waterford all face five games in the space of 14-16 days after missing out on a bye into the second round of the FAI Cup.

The business end of that competition will take place in November due to the attempts to get the regular season proper finished by October 30.

You can view the full fixture list by clicking here.

Online Editors