Statement by the Commissioner of the eircom League, Roy Dooney

The Management Committee of the eircom League met last night and took the following decisions in relation to next season, the transition season to summer football:

1. The 2002-2003 League season will now begin on the week ending Sunday 7th July. The season will finish on Sunday 26th January 2003. The ten teams in the Premier Division will play each other three times, a total of twenty seven matches for each club.

2. The FAI Cup Final will be played on the weekend of the October Bank Holiday. The First Round (ie the round involving eircom League clubs) will take place on the week ending Sunday 28th July.

3. There will be no League Cup or Super Cup competitions in the 2002-2003 season.

4. It was agreed to set up a marketing sub-committee to be chaired by the Commissioner to examine and make recommendations on the issue of matches being played on a single day of the week.

The above decisions mean that the League club competing in the First Qualifying Round of the Champions League on July 17th will have played two League matches before it. It was agreed to look at ways in which the champion club could get additional match preparation if required.

The UEFA Intertoto Cup first round will take place on the weekend of June 22nd /23rd, before the League begins.

Four clubs were not represented at the Management Committee meeting (Derry City, Galway United, Kilkenny City and Sligo Rovers) and will be fined IR£50/€67.