"A Disgrace" Or "Brilliant Progress"- Brolly And Canavan Seriously Disagree On The "Super 8"

"A Disgrace" Or "Brilliant Progress"- Brolly And Canavan Seriously Disagree On The "Super 8"

By the time the "Super 8" structure is finally implemented for next year's football Championship, it is doubtful that very much will be left to discuss on the matter.

Speaking on the Irish Independent's weekly Championship podcast 'The Throw-In', Joe Brolly reiterated his belief that the prospective Super 8 is:

A disgrace. At a time when everyone in the GAA is crying out for equality. And people are saying that we need a long-term strategy. And what we've come up with is something that promotes elitism. And because there's a vacuum in the strategy, what we're seeing now is that commerce is filling the vacuum.

Reiterating concerns he previously shared regarding the growing importance afforded to finance in the GAA, Brolly went on to suggest that the new system will,

reap money alright. But it's got nothing to do with 24 counties. And there are counties who are going to get into the Super 8 who are going to regret bitterly that they ever got in there because they're going to get absolute hammerings.

Once again, Brolly offers no semblance of a solution or alternative plan that may work instead. One commentator who does not necessarily share Brolly's sporting and economic fears is the two-time All-Ireland winner, Peter Canavan.

Writing of the introduction of the Super 8 today, Canavan's outlook is more positive. Regarding Brolly's assertion that the Super 8 will essentially exclude 24 weaker counties from any possibility of sporting or financial reward, Canavan asks:


What have the All-Ireland quarter-finals ever done for the weaker teams? They are generally out of the running by the time August comes around so it's a moot point. Put bluntly, football at this time of year has never really included anyone except the top teams so why would it start now?

A touch fatalistic perhaps, Canavan nonetheless believes that the "Super 8 is as good as it gets", and, albeit constrained also, signifies a step forward nonetheless.

Given the general sense of disappointment that greeted three of this year's four quarter-finals, Canavan suggested that had the Super 8 been in place, things may not have been so disastrously one-sided:

You would have had Kerry, Roscommon, Armagh and Monaghan in the one group, meaning that you'd likely have one of the last three into an All-Ireland semi-final along with the Kingdom which would be brilliant progress.

The other side would have seen Dublin, Tyrone, Mayo and Galway fight it out. Don't tell me that wouldn't have produced some great games if the Dubs had to go to Omagh and Mayo were sent to Salthill.

Canavan goes onto suggest that a general unwillingness to indulge the option of a tiered Championship, in which sides of disparate quality would not necessarily meet, leaves the GAA's hands tied with regards how much restructuring is possible.

Ultimately, Canavan concludes that much of the disenchantment certain counties feel regarding the Super 8 may be reflective of their reluctance to "make the most of what they have."

SEE ALSO: Watch: Peter Canavan Spotted A Superb Dublin Tactic Direct From The Throw-In

SEE ALSO: Enda McNulty Explains Peter Canavan's "Genius" In The '03 All-Ireland Final

Arthur James O'Dea

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