Next season's Airtricity League Premier Division will comprise of 12 clubs, the FAI has confirmed today.
Prior to the decision, information meetings were held with clubs and the matter was also discussed by the National League Executive Committee.
The FAI board will also seek expressions of interest for First Division licences from clubs or new entities for the 2013 season.
"Interested clubs will be invited to contact the FAI in the first instance after which they will be forwarded a pack and a licensing manual to apply for an Airtricity League First Division license," said an FAI statement.
The dates for this season’s Promotion/Relegation play-off series have also been set.
Friday/Saturday, October 19/20: Third-placed club v Second-placed club.
Friday/Saturday, October 26/27: Second-placed club v Third-placed club.
(Winning Club to play the 11th placed Premier Division Club in the Promotion/Relegation Play-off Final over two legs)
Monday/Tuesday, October 29/30: First Leg
Friday, November 2 or Wednesday, November 7: Second Leg. The second leg will be played on November 7 if one of the clubs involved qualifies for the FAI Ford Cup Final.