The FAI have today confirmed the structure of the new National Under-17 League, as well as the new domestic compensation regulations for players who turn professional or are transferred abroad.
With the under-19 league already providing players with a clear pathway to professional football for those who are not afforded the opportunity to play overseas, this new league should keep any young players who may fall out of the game at an earlier age the opportunity to play at an elite, national level.
A statement issued by the FAI today explains that a working group took into account the ‘facilities, coaching qualifications and in particular player pathway, with an emphasis on structures linking to senior football’ when deciding on which clubs would form part of the new league.
The group also ‘took geographical location and strategic development of the game nationally’ into consideration when ‘making its decisions’.
The opening campaign will be truncated with the aim for next season to run in line with the SSE Airtricity League schedule, from April to November. The truncated first season will begin in August and run until December.
22 teams will compete in the inaugural season of the league, including 19 SSE Airtricity League clubs, with Galway United being the only League of Ireland side not to compete.
The following teams make up the three groups which form the league’s structure:
Bray Wanderers, UCD, Cork City, Cobh Ramblers, Limerick, Waterford United, Wexford Youths, Cabinteely
Shamrock Rovers, St. Patrick’s Athletic, Mervue United, Salthill Devon, Athlone Town, Longford Town, Sligo Rovers
Derry City, Finn Harps, Shelbourne, Monaghan United Cavan Football Partnership, Drogheda United, Dundalk, Bohemians
Each team will play twelve fixtures against the sides in their group, with every side playing on ‘a home and away basis’.
The final stage of the season will be familiar to those who keep an eye on the under-19 league, with a knock out stage, comprising of the top two teams in each group facing each other in the quarter-finals, along with the best two third-placed side.
The FAI also confirmed that there will be changes to the domestic compensation regulations. Clubs which train a player from the age of 12 all the way up to professional level were previously awarded €500 compensation, however this has now been reduced and forms part of a sliding scale, which can be seen below.
Registered with club for:
Season of player’s 12th birthday: €400
Season of player’s 13th birthday: €400
Season of player’s 14th birthday: €300
Season of player’s 15th birthday: €300
Season of player’s 16th birthday: €150
Season of player’s 17th birthday: €150
Season of player’s 18th birthday: €150
Season of player’s 19th birthday: €150
Season of player’s 20th birthday: €150
Season of player’s 21st birthday: €150
Season of player’s 22nd birthday: €150
Season of player’s 23rd birthday: €150
The second part of the agreement, which has been ratified by FIFA and approved by the FAI’s Board of Management, sees compensation handed out to ‘training clubs’ which have had one of their players transferred between associations after turning professional.
Player is transferred within 12 months of change of status: 60% of transfer fee
Player is transferred within 24 months of change of status: 45% of transfer fee
Player is transferred within 36 months of change of status: 20% of transfer fee
Player is transferred within 48 months of change of status: 10% of transfer fee
Rob Lyons, Pundit Arena