For all of the talk about changing championship structures in Gaelic football, one of the major flaws in the current hurling format could be exposed in the weeks ahead.
Kerry and Antrim will face off in this year's Joe McDonagh Cup final, a competition from which the winners are normally promoted to the Liam MacCarthy for the following season. That will still be the case if the Ulster side win it, but there will be no such guarantees for their opponents.
As Kerry are from Munster and there is no automatic relegation from the Munster SHC, they will be forced into a play-off against Tipperary should they win the lower tier competition. While Tipp have had a bad year, such an outcome would likely condemn The Kingdom to another campaign in the second tier.
There are certainly no guarantees that they will win the final, but it seems massively unfair that they are the only county hampered by this rule.
Jackie Tyrrell wants change for Kerry hurlers
An obvious solution to this issue would be to allow Kerry to be promoted without a team being relegated. There are six teams in the current Leinster championship, but only five in Munster.
Speaking on the RTÉ GAA podcast, former Kilkenny star Jackie Tyrrell said there was a clear 'double standard' at play here for the Kerry hurlers. He also said that while the Munster championship is the tougher of the two provincial competitions, that should have little impact in deciding who wins the All-Ireland.
It doesn't make sense. There is definitely a double standard. They need to look at that and change it.
For a competition that you’re trying to promote and drive that you still have to play a play-off.
If they do beat Antrim it will leave a sour taste in their mouth if they’re beaten by Tipperary then.
They’re not really rewarded for Joe McDonagh, there’s no progression for them. And that’s what we need in hurling. Giving our weaker teams a chance to get up to Liam MacCarthy, test themselves against the best and try to move on...
I do accept that Munster is an awful lot more competitive [but] that’s just the dynamic of it.
You can use it to your advantage. If you do come out in the top three in Munster, by God you’re going to have been tested.
You look at Kilkenny now, they don’t know where they are going into a Leinster final.
But are we going to get the best four teams in the All-Ireland semi-finals? Yeah. Will the All-Ireland winners be the right team? Yeah.
I don’t think you need to go messing if you want to retain the provincial championships, which I think there still is a strong appetite for.
This debate will certainly receive plenty of air time should Kerry beat Antrim in that Joe McDonagh Cup final.