The Northern Irish Premiership is the main league for professional football in Northern Ireland. Founded in its original form in 2008, there are 12 teams that take place in it each season. It is often called the Irish League and is under the organization of the Irish Football Association. This guide looks at the different aspects of the Northern Irish Premiership.
Northern Irish Premiership Betting
The current format of the Northern Irish Premiership started in 2008/2009 after a reorganization of the league structures. This saw the leading division of football in Northern Ireland dropping from 16 teams down to a dozen teams. The teams were dictated by their performances in the league the past two seasons, as well as looking at some off-field circumstances.
An independent panel judged the teams on a number of different criteria. For example, sporting, finance, infrastructure, personnel, business planning and attendance. Naturally, these categories were given different weightings depending on their importance. This most high profile team not to make the cut in the first season was Portadown. They had to play in the second division after their application was submitted 29 minutes too late.
In 2014, the Northern Ireland Football League became responsible for the top three football leagues in Northern Ireland. The aim was to improve the football scene in the region. This includes making improvements to stadiums. Having teams be more competitive in European competitions and increasing the commercial image of the league.
There was also the reintroduction of some competitions that had been abandoned, such as the:
- Gold Cup,
- Ulster Cup,
- Floodlit Cup and
- the Charity Shield.
Linfield has won the Northern Irish Premiership on six occasions, while the Crusaders winning three times, Cliftonville on two occasions and Glentoran have won it once.
The format of the Premiership
There are 38 teams played by each team in the Northern Irish Premiership each season. Everyone will play each other on three occasions initially for a total of 33 games. There will then be a split in the league to Section A and Section B.
The top six teams will play one another to see who will be crowned as the Northern Irish Premiership champion and earn European qualification for the next season. Section B games will determine what team will be relegated.
The Northern Irish Premiership usually starts in August and will end by May, with most of the games taking place on Saturday afternoons. Whatever team finishes at the bottom of the Northern Irish Premiership rankings come the end of the season will get relegated down to the Championship division.
The team that ends up in 11th place in the Northern Irish Premiership will then go into a playoff over two legs with either the 2nd or 3rd placed team in the Championship. Extra time and penalties will be used if there is a tie on aggregate after the two games. If the team in the Championship that wins the playoff does not meet the requirements to play in the Northern Irish Premiership, then the team will not be relegated.
In the most recent UEFA rankings, the Northern Irish Premiership was 48th on the list of 55 leagues in terms of their quality. As a result of these rankings, the Northern Irish Premiership clubs have to enter the first qualifying stages of European competitions.
To date, a Northern Irish Premiership club has never gotten to the group stages of a European competition in their current format. None have even gotten past the second qualifying round. There are usually 3 European spots up for grabs for Northern Irish Premiership competitions.
There are a lot of local rivalries when it comes to the Northern Irish Premiership. This creates a lot of excitement for these matchups and in turn meaning that there is plenty of action for bettors. A lot of leading betting sites will offer markets on these games.
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