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Declan Bogue: We're yet to hear any incentives that make Tier Two worthwhile

John Horan
John Horan
Declan Bogue

By Declan Bogue

If, and it is a very big if, the Tier Two Football Championship - as voted in last weekend - has any chance of capturing the imagination, a certain number of incentives must apply.

And top of that list must surely be that the final is played as a curtain-raiser to the senior All-Ireland decider at Croke Park.

Right now, the conditions around the new competition are so vague and woolly that they are material for parody.

If you were building a sketch of the Vaudeville acts that occurred at Special Congress on Saturday, two key moments would stand out to deliver a one-two of gags that would floor even the most dour audience.

The first came when Cork delegate Tracey Kennedy questioned why the debate was being held while a GAA committee had been set up to examine different ways of structuring the entire fixtures calendar.

The reply was - and we are paraphrasing here - that sure all will be grand.

The second concerned what level of media attention the second-tier competition might get.

The response from GAA president John Horan was that somebody had a text message from RTE's head of sport Declan McBennett giving encouragement that the business end of the Tier Two competition would receive coverage.

It's not known if this was lifted straight from the back of a packet of cigarettes, but it sure sounds like it.

Important decisions that shape the entire calendar are now being waved away with promises made over text message.

Thankfully, there was the occasional voice speaking up for the little guy in the room.

Antrim chairman Ciaran McCavana pointed out that there was more discussion over Marty Morrissey's clothes than afforded to the Joe McDonagh Cup.

There was also a lengthy part of the Sunday Game on All-Ireland final day devoted to Joe Brolly wearing a pair of cufflinks once belonging to Joe Biden.

Committees of committed and well-meaning volunteers who were prepared to put a bit of imagination into finding solutions, and indeed were far down the road, are now treated with nothing short of disgust.

Central Council will not like to hear it or see it written down, but it has grown into an extremely cost coterie. Inside the echo chamber, they tell each other things are grand, that indeed you have never had it so good.

The problem for them is that we know better.

Belfast Telegraph


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