New proposal on the table for Irish League clubs to mull over

A resolution may finally be in sight for Danske Bank Premiership clubs after a new proposal on how to conclude the current season was presented to clubs on Thursday evening.
Further talks are planned for this weekendFurther talks are planned for this weekend
Further talks are planned for this weekend

There has been deadlock in discussion since the last game was played on March 7 leading to very public spats amongst disgruntled parties.

Several ideas failed to overcome the impasse, but a reported new plan believed to have been put forward by Crusaders seems to have support.

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The current campaign would be curtailed straight away with league leaders Linfield being nominated to play in next season's Champions League, and second placed Coleraine going into the Europa League qualifiers.

The third European spot is still being earmarked for the Irish Cup winners with the Irish FA still planning to play the semi-finals and final before the UEFA deadline for nominations on August 3.

If the competition cannot be completed then the final spot would go to third placed Crues.

The division of European prize money has been a hot topic in all the discussions, but under this rumoured proposal the Champions League qualifiers would donate 30 per cent of the prize money into a pot and the two Europa League participants 20 per cent each.

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Coupled with a loan taken out by the Northern Ireland Football League, the money would then be split between Premiership teams, with each club potentially receiving a fee in the region of £50,000.

The clubs who are still in the hunt for European qualification would also be given a top-up of £75,000.

The pot would also cater for every club in the Championship and Premier Intermediate League, who would reportedly get £10,000 and £5,000 respectively.

The proposal would also see any club participating in Europe for the two seasons after contribute 20 per cent of their prize money to repay the NIFL loan.

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It's understood there would be a restructure of the leagues with no relegation from the Premiership this season with two clubs promoted from the Championship to commence in October with fans.

Last night's meeting was reportedly a more positive affair than recent get-togethers, however it is understood there is still some work to be done to on percentages proposed for giving up a portion of the European prize money.

More talks are planned for Sunday as clubs try to find a solution for the most satisfactory conclusion to this campaign.

A final proposal to be presented to the NIFL Board on Monday.

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A statement from NIFL read: “In a positive meeting of the Premiership Management Committee tonight (Thursday), all 12 Premiership clubs continue to work together to find an agreeable solution to the 2019/2020 season.

“The Premiership clubs will reconvene for a further meeting over the weekend with a view to finalising a proposal for the NIFL board on Monday, 22 June.”