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Tuesday 14 May 2024
Restructure of the Men’s Football Pyramid begins

The Irish Football Association is committed to delivering an objective outlined in its corporate strategy (2022-27) to “transform the football pyramid to create a clear pathway for ambitious clubs”. 

In accordance with this objective, the Irish FA is undertaking a significant restructure of the men's football pyramid in Northern Ireland to enhance the competitiveness and sustainability of the men’s amateur game.  

The restructure includes the introduction of a new Conference Layer to allow clubs to compete at a national level directly below the NIFL Premiership and Championship. 

Registrations of Interest in operating the Conference Layer opened on Wednesday 8 May and close at noon tomorrow (Wednesday 15 May). 

All interested parties who have submitted a Registration of Interest will be emailed the application pack by close of business on Friday (17 May). 

A supplementary background information document is available on the Irish FA website regarding the men's football pyramid restructure. Potential Conference Layer operators should read this document prior to submitting a Registration of Interest. It can be viewed here. 

The Irish FA believes the restructure presents an opportunity to ‘reset’ the football pyramid and provide an improved pathway for ambitious clubs to be promoted to the elite levels of the amateur game, with the potential for future progression to the professional game.   

Following a consultation process the association has identified a need to develop consistent league formats and fixture calendars for the top tiers of the amateur game, and to establish a dependable mechanism for promotion and relegation across the highest levels of the men's amateur and professional game. 

The Irish FA will support the appointed league operator who will confirm the application process for interested clubs and the composition of leagues for commencement in season 2026-27.