EXCLUSIVE: A new rule is being proposed that could have major implications for players and clubs in the League of Ireland

Every League of Ireland Premier Division club will be required to have a minimum number of professional players from next season – if PFA Ireland’s plans are approved in August.

Players’ union leaders are confident the FAI will give their proposal the green light when they meet before next year’s participation agreement is finalized at the end of August.

A PFA Ireland delegation – Stephen McGuinness, Simone Flannery, Galway United’s Brendan Clarke, Shelbourne’s Sean Boyd and Shamrock Rovers Women’s star Áine O’Gorman – met with the FAI on Monday.

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And on August 21, they will be back at the table, hoping that their plan will get the green light.

If so, Premier Division clubs should have 14 professional players on their books next year.

That would increase season after season, with the ultimate goal being a minimum of 20 players.