Ireland premier division
The League of Ireland Premier Division 2019 is the 35th season of the League of Ireland Premier Division. The league began in February 2019 and ends in October 2019. The games were announced in December 2018.
The League of Ireland football Premier Division, also known as the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division, is the top division in both the League of Ireland and the Football League of the Republic of Ireland. The division was formed in 1985 after a reorganization of the League of Ireland. St. Patrick's Athletic and Bohemians are the only clubs in the Irish league that have never relegated to the Premier Division. Since 2003, the Premier Division operates as a summer league.
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The years 2010 were a contrasting event for the Premier Division clubs. Under Michael O'Neill Shamrock Rovers 2010 and 2011 masters of the Premier Division. In 2011, Rovers also made history when they qualified as the first team in the history of the League of Ireland for the group stage of the UEFA Europa League. In 2012, Sligo Rovers won her first Premier Division title and her first top-level title in thirty-five years. St. Patrick's Athletic won the fifth Premier football Division in 2013. Under Stephen Kenny, Dundalk emulated Shamrock Rovers and won the title in 2014 and 2015 before qualifying for the 2016/17 Uefa league football group stage.
By contrast, three Premier Division clubs - Sporting Fingal, Galway United and Monaghan United - have withdrawn from the League of Ireland.
The premiership of the Premier Division is currently qualifying for the second qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League. The second and third-placed FAI Cup teams and winners will qualify for the first qualifying round of the UEFA Europa League. Shamrock Rovers and Dundalk have both qualified for the UEFA Europa League group stage. In 2011, Rovers reached the group stage as the first team in the history of the League of Ireland, and Dundalk repeated the feat in 2016.
The UEFA coefficient of the League of Ireland Premier Division adds up to a total value of 5.125 as of September 2013. Between 1998 and 2010, the league's place in the coefficient table increased by 15 places. This is the biggest increase of all leagues in Europe. The 29th place in 2010 was also the highest since 1986. Since June 2010, the ranking of the league has dropped and was at the end of the 2013/2014 season in 43rd place, a decline of 14 places since 2010 and the worst ranking of the league Since 1998. In the 2000s, the coefficient of the Premier Division improved significantly compared to the late 1990s, but at a cost. The introduction of full-time professional football by a number of clubs and the League's decision to become a summer league in 2003 improved the performance of Premier Division clubs in Europe. Both led to an increase in fitness, while Irish players remained in the league for their professionalism on a full-time basis, attracting foreign players to the league and generally improving the standard of football. In each season from 2003 to 2014, at least one League of Ireland club has reached the next round of European competition.
However, the costs associated with professional football and the pursuit of European success have been blamed for the financial difficulties of the Premier Division clubs. This phase of improvement came to an end in 2010 when league rankings plummeted. From the 29th in 2010, it fell to the 31st in 2011, to the 33rd in 2012, to the 36th in 2013 and to the 43rd in 2014. The league rebounded in the 2015 ranking on the 40th place and finished in the ranking 2016 the 41st place.
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