The Women's National League will finally begin in the second week of August.

The campaign was supposed to kick off in March but the Covid-19 pandemic put that on ice.

It was initially hoped the season would start in June, a week after what was previously the planned resumption of the men's SSE Airtricity League.

Those dates were pushed back, with the men's leagues now slated for a 31 July kick-off, albeit a stand-off over the format of the two divisions continues to rumble on.

The women's competition looks set for a smoother return, however, with the FAI aiding the return by making a financial package available to each of the nine clubs.

Affiliation fees have waived, a participation grant will be provided, prize money will be spread out equally, and there will be funds available to ensure all clubs can upgrade their grounds to follow safety protocols.

The FAI will also supply a special Covid-19 Assistance Grant to help each of the clubs who will have suffered financial losses.

"The Women's National League Committee held a meeting with the senior clubs in the Women’s National League on July 2nd, 2020," said Myles Kelly, Women's National League Committee Chairperson.

"The meeting outlined a significant financial package to aid the clubs for a new start date in early August for the 2020 Women’s National League.

"The Women’s National League Committee would like to thank the clubs for their forbearance through this difficult time and also the FAI for the financial package which allows the League to be completed in 2020."

The first series of games kicks off on the second weekend of August and that will signal the beginning of Phase One, where every team will face off against each other.

There will then be a split for Phase Two, where clubs will be separated into two sections and playing each other again.

Peamount United, who lifted the title last season, will represent the league in the UEFA Women's Champions League. Their qualifying round is due to start in early October.

A full league fixture list is due to follow.

We need your consent to load this SoundCloud contentWe use SoundCloud to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity. Please review their details and accept them to load the content.Manage Preferences

Listen to the RTÉ Soccer podcast on Apple PodcastsSoundCloudSpotify or wherever you get your podcasts.