Existing League of Ireland clubs will be afforded an opportunity to apply to enter reserve teams into a new third tier.
Delays to the addition have been contentious since it was first flagged two years ago but league director Mark Scanlon is adamant it will form part of their new Pathways structure to be unveiled later this month.
Financial limitations will be a factor in the decision of clubs to field a second team, especially considering the €55,000 increase in prize money equates to just €2,750 for each of the 20 men’s clubs.
Scanlon cited the abolition of the affiliation fees since Covid-19 as another stream but most clubs are now bearing the costs of running male and female teams from U14 to seniors.
The women’s league were the main beneficiaries of the prize money bump, doubling the pot from a lowly €55,000 for the season kicking off in March.
“It is quite common in football pyramids across Europe and was part of the strategic plan in the first place,” said Scanlon about the notion of established clubs having two teams on the go.
“A number of clubs had an interest in doing that. Whether a vast majority of clubs will do that remains to be seen when they look at their finances.
“A partnership club model is another option rather than having reserve teams.
“We see from the Leinster and Munster Senior Cup games and the early rounds of the FAI Cup that there is a thriving scene within the amateur game - clubs looking to test themselves against League of Ireland teams.
"I think there will be a huge interest from what within football pyramid.”Read on irishexaminer.com