The Northern Ireland Football League [NIFL] have expressed their surprise at the FAI's announcement of a new cross-border competition which would see the champions of the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division and Northern Irish Premiership face off in an two-legged end-of-season clash.

FAI Director of Competitions Fran Gavin today revealed plans for the fixture to take place at the end of the League of Ireland campaign.

Gavin told RTÉ Sport: "It's a good positive. It brings us a bit closer together, the two associations. There's a good league up the north, there's a good league here, and it'll be great to see the champions - whoever it's going to be at the end of the season - playing in that match.

"There's also some good prize money around that as well which will be welcome for the clubs."

However, the NIFL later claimed they had not signed off on the establishment of the fixture, saying in a statement: "The NI Football League note today’s announcement at the SSE Airticity League Launch regarding the potential formation of a new competition between the winners of the of the Danske Bank Premiership and SSE Airticity League.

"We were aware that initial discussions had taken place between the Irish FA and FAI but did not expect any formal announcements at this stage.

"We look forward to consultation and receiving further detail regarding this opportunity, which we will consider with our member clubs."