FAI chief executive John Delaney believes there will be an All-Ireland League, but not before 2012.
John Delaney is urging patience over an All-Ireland League
A contract involving the eircom Legaue and the FAI runs to 2011 and only then could an All-Ireland League be considered, according to Delaney.
"Given time I think this may happen, I'm sure of that," he said.
Plans to start an All-Ireland League in August this year were described as "pie in the sky" by IFA chief executive Howard Wells earlier this month.
Delaney also warns against rushing into setting up any new league.
"It should be done step-by-step, not in a mad rush the way that's been talked about now seems to involve," he told the Irish Independent.
"At the right juncture and if it was supported on both sides of the border and done in a way that wasn't divisive then from a personal point of view I'd like it to happen.
"I've spoken to Howard Wells about it and we'll be meeting again at the end of the month where it will be one of a wide range of issues we'll be discussing.
"It can't happen without us - I think everyone has to accept that.
"Without our support then there's no recognition from Uefa.
"Personally I think it's important that we set up a working group with possibly the two governments involved to see if it would work.
"But any quicker than the end of the current contract over the Eircom League is not going to work in my opinion."