It is clear that the GAA's inter-county schedule is in need of some major changes. The season is dragged out for far too long and that comes at the expense of players throughout the country.
Club players, who make up 95% of players in the GAA, have their seasons treated by an afterthought by the authorities. They are often given very little certainty in terms of fixture calendar, making it incredibly difficult to plan a life outside of the sport. Many have walked away from the game as a result.
Condensing the inter-county calendar is the only way to provide this.
2020 offers the ideal opportunity for the GAA to make some real changes, with the coronavirus pandemic meaning club fixtures will be given the prime late summer spots. This is something we could see replicated in the future.
The GPA have revealed their proposal to alter the calendar which would see all inter-county action finished by the end of July as the latest. The season would also begin in February.
It would result in an inter-county window of 23 weeks.
Fair play to the GPA. This would be a huge and brilliant move for county and club players pic.twitter.com/LPmrsc5LVv
— Brian O Halloran (@brianoh91) August 7, 2020
This proposal would surely see the end of pre-season provincial tournaments, something that has long been mooted.
This would certainly seem to be a desirable change for both club and county players. At club level, you would have some certainty as to when championship could get underway, while a more condensed calendar at county level should lessen the often ridiculous gaps between games.
We imagine this will receive plenty of backing.