League of Ireland chief Fran Gavin has announced a new youth development fund to help SSE Airtricity League clubs with the cost of running their youth teams. 

Gavin revealed the new fund of €250,000 at the launch of this year’s SSE Airtricity League at the Aviva stadium today.

That money with join with the UEFA Solidarity Funding which already goes towards youth development, bringing the minimum that will be spent in that area to €1.15million.

Speaking at the league launch Gavin said: "We’re always looking at helping clubs develop in the areas that truly matter to them and we have discovered that they’re spending a lot on youth development.

"So I’m delighted to announce today that we’ll be assisting the clubs with their underage structures in the form of a youth development fund.

"In our discussions with the clubs they have informed us that’s an area where they really need most help.

"We’ll be adding a new UEFA Youth Development Fund of €250,000. That’s going to be added to the UEFA solidarity payment which currently stands at €825,000, bringing the total funding of youth development to €1.15 million at a minimum.

"This investment should greatly help clubs to cover the bulk of the costs in youth development, which we see as being a key to the future of the SSE Airtricity League."

Meanwhile, Gavin also confirmed that 27 league games will be shown live on television this season, with the first of them being shown live on RTÉ 2 this Friday at 7:30pm when fierce rivals Bohemians and Shamrock Rovers meet at Dalymount Park.