Following a review of the audited accounts of the 19 Airtricity League clubs in 2012 it was revealed that collectively they made a profit of €241,544.

The news was announced at Friday’s launch of the 2013 Airtricity League season at the Aviva Stadium.

The move by the clubs into collective profit is the latest stage of a progressively improving trend which has seen losses reduced dramatically since the National League came under the direct control of the FAI in 2007.

Losses were reduced from €6.9 million in 2007 to €2.7m in 2010 and almost reached breakeven in 2011 before the move into profit in 2012. 

Commenting on the 2012 figures, the Director of the Airtricity League Fran Gavin said: “This is a significant milestone for our clubs and represents a major turnaround in club finances since the FAI took over the League in 2007.

Our clubs should be congratulated for the achievement however, we cannot be complacent. Collectively, we must continue to ensure prudence in the interests of supporters and the Airtricity League as a whole, ensuring that clubs develop sustainably with a focus on facilities, coaching and playing squads to continue the upward trend.”

The Airtricity League Premier and First Divisions will commence on Friday, 8 March and a total of 330 league and play-off games will be played between then and 1 November, in addition to matches in the FAI Ford Cup, EA SPORTS Cup, Setanta Sports Cup, UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League.

RTÉ and Setanta Sports will be continuing their live coverage of matches during the season and MNS will return to the screens on Monday, 11 March.

Among the highlights of the new season will be the return of Premier Division football to Limerick after an absence of 19 seasons, in addition to the introduction of Thomond Park as an Airtricity League venue.

The 2013 season will also mark the return of Cobh Ramblers to the First Division after a four year absence.