League of Ireland Premier Division to be reduced to 10 teams in 2018

Derry striker Ronan Curtis battles with Dundalk's Shane Grimes in this season's FAI Cup semi-final replay
Dundalk retained the League of Ireland title this season while Derry City finished third

The League of Ireland Premier Division will be reduced from 12 teams to 10 for the 2018 season, the Football Association of Ireland has announced.

This means the bottom three teams in 2017 will be relegated with only the First Division champions promoted.

The decisions followed a recommendation by the representative body of the Premier Division clubs.

The FAI has also commissioned two reports into the overall structure of the League in recent years.

"From the Consultation Process Report, a number of recommendations have started to be implemented, including, aiding clubs with strategic/business plans, focus on facility development, recruitment of a marketing executive, establishment of a marketing group with club representation and restructuring of the League format," said an FAI statement.

A new league website will also be launched for the 2017 season, which starts on Friday, 24 February.

Derry City, who finished third last season, open their campaign with a clash against Bohemians at Dalymount Park.