It’s all systems go for the full complement of League of Ireland sides as all 20 clubs have secured licences for the 2017 SSE Airtricity League season.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with this process, a licensing system was introduced in Ireland in 2004 to ensure clubs participating in the league were maintaining certain standards. The licencing focuses on five main areas: infrastructure, legal, personnel, administrative and finance. If your interest has piqued – you can read the full 158 page club licensing manual here.
14 Premier Division and six First Division licences have been awarded for the upcoming season, a change from 2016 when 16 Premier and four First Division licences were issued. Athlone Town FC and Wexford Youths (now Wexford FC) had previously held a top tier licence.
Bohemians, Bray Wanderers, Cork City, Derry City, Drogheda United, Dundalk, Finn Harps, Galway United, Limerick, Longford Town, Shamrock Rovers, Sligo Rovers, St. Patrick’s Athletic and Waterford all secured Premier Division licences.
Athlone Town, Cabinteely, Cobh Ramblers, Shelbourne, UCD and Wexford acquired a First Division licence.
Next up on the licencing front will be the awarding of UEFA licences to the clubs competing in European competition. These licences have been awarded in April in the last two years.
Clubs respond to club licence awarding on Twitter
Game on!! We're delighted to announce that we've been granted a First Division licence for the 2017 season. pic.twitter.com/AVIWpp7VNk— Wexford FC (@WexfordFC) February 13, 2017
We are delighted to confirm that the club have been awarded a Premier Division licence by the FAI's Independent Club Licensing Committee— Waterford FC (@WaterfordFCie) February 13, 2017
We've just received confirmation that our Club Licence application for 2017 has been successful. More details to follow in the coming days.— Shelbourne FC (@shelsfc) February 13, 2017
Longford Town F.C. have once again been granted a Premier Licence for 2017 season. Well done to our licencing officer Archie Bell and team.— Longford Town FC (@LongfordTownFC) February 13, 2017
Limerick FC have been awarded a Premier Division Licence for the 2017 Season pic.twitter.com/mEIY98RQKW— Limerick FC (@LimerickFCie) February 13, 2017
Bray Wanderers FC are delighted to announce that we have been awarded a Premier Division Licence for the 2017 seasonhttps://t.co/vgPuYt6jMd— Bray Wanderers FC (@BrayWanderers) February 13, 2017