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Páraic Duffy Makes Telling Admission About Future Of Football Championship

Páraic Duffy Makes Telling Admission About Future Of Football Championship
By Gavin Cooney
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Writing in his annual report for 2017, GAA Director-General Páraic Duffy admitted that the current format of the football championship is "not sustainable".


Duffy wrote in praise of the new quarter-final for the All-Ireland football championships, which will consist of two groups of four teams play three games on a round-robin basis. He did admit, however, that it is likely to be a temporary arrangement.

Congress took the wise decision to introduce the changes on a three-year trial basis, which is a reasonable period to assess the value of the new format. In truth, this structure is likely to be a temporary arrangement in that it will allow the Association time to devise a system that will meet the needs of the less successful counties.

He went on to cite the hurling championship as an example that should be pursued by the football championship.

There are compelling arguments in favour of developing a tiered Football championship system, as in hurling, but the debate around this issue is as difficult as ever, notably in resolving the question of how a tiered championship would be structured.

Achieving consensus while preserving the provincial championships will not be easy. There are those who are quick to criticise the provincial championships, but it must be recognised that there is a strong attachment to them throughout the Association.

But we must find a way to give all counties the possibility of success in a football championship.

It should be noted that in 2018 the All-Ireland hurling championships will consist of five competitions at All-Ireland level.

In football, there is only one, a structure that is not sustainable.

Speaking to the media after the publication of his report, Duffy clarified that the Super 8s format is not intended as the first step to the segregating of the football championship, but instead tackles a separate issue regarding the number of high-quality games staged during the latter stages of the championship.


The round-robin doesn't address that at all. The round-robin, in my opinion, meets the need for more matches between the top teams at the latter end of the championship. I'm not going over those arguments again. It addresses the issue of making the top teams fight for an All-Ireland title.

That doesn't address what you do for the counties with no chance of success. That has to be addressed. In addressing that, the round-robin may have to be changed, at the moment it is a three-year experiment. The round-robin won't resolve it, but somewhere down the line, you will have to address the issue for the smaller counties.

See Also: Derek McGrath Explains Why One Of Waterford's Brightest Young Stars Is Taking A Break

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