Prize money for the SSE Airtricity League will increase by €160,000, it was announced today.

League Director Fran Gavin revealed that the total prize fund will be €475,500 for the coming season.

It had previously been €315,000, with many clubs complaining that the low level of reward for competing in the league made it difficult to stay afloat. 

It represents a 50% increase from last year.

Gavin was speaking at the official launch of the 2016 campaign at the Aviva Stadium.

The first live game of the new season will be Cork City v Bohemians from Turner's Cross on RTÉ2 on the opening night of the league.