The statement ran to only 32 words, less than the number of games each side would have played in a normal season of the SSE Airtricity league, 14 more than will be the case in 2020.

The FAI Board will likely have spent a few more on discussion of the decision taken by the National League Executive Committee before ratifying it shortly after 6 pm last night.

Sport is based on a collective model, even if that seems fanciful at times. Could you consider Liverpool and Tranmere as equal partners in English football. They are separated by only eight kilometres but 60 places in the pecking order. In England the Premier League is a separate unit from the FA in commercial terms but still relies on a symbiotic relationship to ‘the football family’ that is the Football league.

In Ireland the numbers are smaller with 19 clubs competing across the two divisions. The gap is narrower as well though it does exist.

Everyone wanted to get the League back in action for 2020. The more intractable questions of money, venues and streaming in a still pandemic altered reality were sorted and it was just the format that had to be overcome.

Arguments were made and positions taken between the two realistic options of a straight one up, one down promotion and relegation or to maintain a series of play off matches bringing the next four teams in the First Division together with the ninth in the Premier League into a play-off situation form which one will emerge.

Legal opinions were sought, votes were cast and the group charged with representing the clubs and the the league voted in favour of the latter.

It is what was supposed to happen and running with what had already been agreed was, in legal terms, probably seen as the safest option, even if the circumstances of the season had changed.

The FAI would have been treading into choppy waters if they had overturned the majority decision and so we now have 28 days to wait for a shortened season.

Along the way there will be Europe to distract us with Dundalk, Bohemians and Derry City all focused on that.

The other European contender Shamrock Rovers, publicly backed the decision which leaves six clubs kicking their heels and the cat. St Patricks Athletic, Waterford and Sligo Rovers have been vocal. Finn Harps, Cork City and Shelbourne less so.

None have got the resource to willingly dive into legal action and the potential reputation damage that might do might be seen as too high to make it a worthwhile endeavour.

You never know but you can only hope that this will be decided on the pitch, starting in 28 days.