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Push for a two-tier competition makes little sense

Overhaul: John Horan is putting in place a two-tiered Championship
Overhaul: John Horan is putting in place a two-tiered Championship
Declan Bogue

By Declan Bogue

It would seem that come hell or high water, GAA president John Horan is going to leave a legacy of a two-tier Championship.

Despite the misgivings of its execution and the lack of appetite in many counties, the new format is going to be rammed through with no overwhelming demand.

Already, Down selector Benny Coulter has said he would find it very hard to ask his players to commit to playing in a secondary competition, fearing instead that players would just go back to their clubs to put in a big effort once their provincial Championship race is run.

Derry captain Chrissy McKaigue said: "My fear is that it just wouldn't entice enough players and there would be a mass exodus to the US. Players would lose heart in playing county football."

What it is meant to achieve hasn't exactly been explained either. Sporting competition is elitist. That is the very point of it, but an attempt to hand out more cups is being made here.

What it does do is make the purpose of the recently established Fixtures Committee redundant. They are due to meet on July 11, 18 and 25. But really, there is little point in them doing so until the Special Congress is dealt with in October as they will have an entirely different landscape to deal with after that.

In trying to sort out the fixture plans across the country, they have enough on their plate. Throwing another competition into the mix will play havoc. Perhaps there is a sense that, in trying to get this idea over the line, nothing else matters.

"Look, everybody has been crying out for this to happen," said Horan in Scotstown.

"We're now getting near to getting this over the line. Now you see people are flipping their stories and their attitudes.

"But look, as I said, I can only chair the meeting and everybody put their hand up in favour of it. I can only go by what the feeling on the ground is."

God only knows.

Belfast Telegraph


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