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Big changes proposed as Congress set to meet

By Declan Bogue

Published 18/01/2016

Saturday's meeting of Central Council in Croke Park has thrown up a raft of proposals that will be included on the Clar for Congress in Carlow next month.

What is sure to cause most controversy is the second proposal, which states: 'The teams that are placed in Division Four at the conclusion of the National Football League will play in their Provincial Championship only.

"They will also participate in an All-Ireland Senior 'B' Football Championship, which will be played on a straight knock out basis. The winners of the All-Ireland 'B' Football Championship will be guaranteed a place in the following year's All-Ireland Football Qualifier."

Should that rule be passed, it would leave the two relegated teams in Division Three, along with the teams who did not win promotion from Division Four, without the safety net of a qualifier game following defeat in their province. That is, of course, unless the team can progress to a provincial final. In real terms, this rules out the possibility of what Antrim achieved last year. After defeat in the Ulster quarter-final to Fermanagh, the Saffrons staged an improbable and highly unlikely comeback to beat Laois in O'Moore Park.

Motions that comes from Central Council have a habit of being passed. The GPA are understood to be unsatisfied with their proposal of Championship reforms not being given further consideration.

Plans to scrap the under-21 football Championship has ran aground. However, the possibility of the establishment of a new under-20 age group for a football Championship is understood to be up for exploration.

Belfast Telegraph

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