Minister of State for Sport, the Gaeltacht & Defence, Jack Chambers, has promised that the government will provide additional support to help the SSE Airtricity League start this season.  

Government officials met with representatives from the Football Association of Ireland today.

The FAI unveiled a €3.6m package to clubs in recent days, which will help clubs operate early in the calendar year, while the wage subsidy scheme is seen as crucial to help salary costs during the pandemic. 

Premier Division clubs will each receive a minimum of €215,000 under the FAI proposal, but it is thought more financial aid will be needed with crowds unlikely to return until much later in the 2021 campaign.

Today the government has offered further encouragement to the elite sides in the country. 

Chambers tweeted in the aftermath of the meeting: "Positive engagement with the FAI today.

"I made clear the Government's support for the return of the League of Ireland. I also provided assurances that we will provide additional supports in the period ahead.

"It's important for the football community that our national league commences."

The League of Ireland is due to start on 19 March, with nearly all players returning to employment with the clubs now with pre-season underway.