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Danny raps Ulster chiefs over Euro clash


Critical: Danny Hughs has slammed the Ulster Council

Critical: Danny Hughs has slammed the Ulster Council

Critical: Danny Hughs has slammed the Ulster Council

Down attacker Danny Hughes has accused the Ulster Council of “cutting off their nose” with their position in relation to the timing of next week's provincial quarter-final between his own county and neighbours Armagh.

Hughes, the current All Star right half-forward, admitted yesterday that he is at a loss to know why the time of his county's Ulster championship match on Saturday week has not been changed to avoid a clash with the Champions League final.

The newly-named Morgan Athletics Grounds fixture will go head-to-head with Manchester United and Barcelona at Wembley and Hughes feel that it “doesn't make sense.”

Last week the Leinster Council agreed to move the Offaly-Wexford game to 5pm to avoid a clash and allow spectators to see both games. But the Ulster Council have stressed that they have not received a request from either Down or Armagh and will not be deviating from a 7pm throw-in time.

Hughes says he cannot see the economic sense in refusing a time change and fears the attendance will be little more than what the counties would draw for a league match in March as a consequence.

“The Ulster Council should definitely have moved the game. I don't understand it. Why take money off the gate? Why take people away from the game when there's absolutely no need to do it?” he asked.

“Why not put it on at 3pm on a Saturday or 5pm? The BBC have it and RTE are showing delayed highlights. Why not let people go to the game at 5pm and go home or go to the bars. Economically speaking it just doesn't make sense.”

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The Ulster Council feel that a fixture that was made last October should not be changed at such a late date.

Hughes admitted he hasn't heard of many who will stay at home and watch the Champions League final in preference to travelling to Armagh, but senses it will happen. “You'll see that in the ground. You'll have your hardcore supporters but it probably won't be anything more than would go to a national league match. It's astonishing.

“We're a small organisation, we have to make the most of the population we have so that people will actually go to the games.

“They're cutting off their nose, they really are,” added Hughes.

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