The FAI have announced that next season’s Airtricity Premier League will feature twelve teams, playing each other three times over the course of the season.

In a statement released on Thursday evening, the association also confirmed that there will be two teams relegated, with the bottom team going down automatically and the 11th placed side entering a two-leg promotion/relegation play-off.

Shelbourne, Cork City and Monaghan United were all promoted to the Premier League at the end of last season, with Galway United dropping down to the First Division.

The season will get underway on Friday, 2 March 2012 and there is to be a mid-season break designed to coincide with the Republic of Ireland’s Euro 2012 campaign.