Belfast Telegraph

Biting Back: Donegal Championships deferral was a bizarre call

By Martin Breheny

Donegal decided last spring to defer the entire senior club football championship until the county team's interest in the All-Ireland race was over.

That ran all the way to last Sunday’s final, leaving the county championship starting on the final weekend in September.

The decision to defer the championships was taken by the clubs, despite a suggestion by county manager Jim McGuinness that two rounds be played last spring.

It was a bizarre call, especially at a time when so many players countrywide are complaining about a lack of action during the summer months.

Still, it was a decision that impacted only on Donegal at the time. And while Croke Park were unhappy to discover that they had effectively slammed the door on club activity for the summer, there was nothing they could do about it, since they have no direct jurisdiction over local fixtures.

The year rolled on and Donegal reached the All-Ireland final, leaving them facing a hectic October. They grew fearful that they might have difficulty completing their championship in time for the start of the Ulster campaign so they sought a deferral of their first round games, which were fixed for November 9.

The Ulster Council agreed to the application, granting the Donegal champions an extra week before heading into the provincial campaign.

It defies logic how the Ulster Council agreed to that. They are saying quite openly that any county who decides to ignore club activity throughout the summer will be facilitated with postponements in the provincial championship.

All they have to do is ask!..

Belfast Telegraph


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