After just two weeks of the new Limerick District League Premier Division season, the structure of the Premier Division has changed. The league will now revert to it’s traditional format of each team facing each other on two occasions, both home and away.
A meeting was called by the Limerick District League Committee on Tuesday and the chairmen of all Premier League clubs were requested to be there as the issue was discussed in detail at their Carey’s Road headquarters.
It means that there will now be 22 fixtures in the calendar season and not 21, as would have been the case with this season’s planned format. Many clubs and managers had their reservations about the new system which would have seen the league split into a bottom six and top six after one round of games, with both halves facing off against their top or bottom half rivals, both home and away.
The most outspoken against the change were the likes of Janesboro manager Aidan Ryan, Ballynanty Rovers’ Donal Magee, Regional United’s Shane O’Donoghue and Aisling Annacotty’s Mike Aherne.
Speaking to Sporting Limerick ahead of the new season two weeks ago, O’Donoghue stated;
I’m not a huge fan of the new structure they are bringing in. I felt they could have consulted the clubs a lot more and I don’t think it has been thought through.
It might have been a better idea if teams in top and bottom six all went back to 0 points and then played each other home and away.
Ryan was equally as reluctant to support the new league format.
Would I be in favour of it. I don’t think I would. I think it defeats the purpose of a league. I think the fact that you are breaking it up into two sixes dissects the league too much.
I think it doesn’t give teams coming up who want to make it into the top six much incentive and de-values it a little bit. I would have been more inclined to reduce the league to ten teams and condense the quality a bit.
Prospect Priory were also disillusioned with the structure considering 7 of their 11 first round games were due to be played away from home, which makes little sense as those homes games would not be gained back when facing top or bottom six rivals both home and away in the second half of the season.
It appears as though the concerns from clubs have grown since the beginning of the season and it has failed to prevent thrashings being handed out after just four games which has led to the postponement of the structural change.
All fixtures set to take place on Tuesday September 3rd have been postponed and will be rescheduled for a later date.