In the Irish Times today, Jim McGuinness has laid out his proposal to 're-invigorate' the football championship. And boy is it interesting.
For the last month, opinion mongers have performing the last rites over the provincial championships.
'The provincial football championships RIP, died all too peacefully in Croke Park towards the end of the Dublin-Longford game'.
Jim wants to keep the provinces alive, reasoning that the 'big day should not be the preserve of the strong counties.' The provincial championships are often defended on the basis that they offer the only feasible chance of silverware for smaller counties. McGuinness broadly agrees.
But he thinks that by July, the championship should be split into two groups of 16. The first group, the elite, will compete for Sam Maguire on the normal basis while the second grouping, the weaker counties (apologies, so-called weaker counties) will enter into a secondary competition which also holds the prospect of silverware and glory.
What if we came up with a structure which linked the National Football League, the provincial championships and the All-Ireland? And in doing so created two distinct All-Ireland competitions for the first 16 and second 16 ranked counties at the end of the process?
The intriguing thing about the proposal is that it ties League performance to the championship in a manner which doesn't undermine the provincial championship. Entry into the elite championship will be based on League position but places will always be reserved for provincial champions.
To get all the details in full, read about his proposal here.