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Pat Spillane Wants Championship Reform Despite 'Correct' Proposal B Rejection

Pat Spillane Wants Championship Reform Despite 'Correct' Proposal B Rejection
Gary Connaughton
By Gary Connaughton
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Proposal 'B' may have been defeated at Saturday's special congress, but the appetite for change remains the same within the GAA.

There were some flaws with that proposal, but many felt it was still a better option than the current championship format that has all but sucked the life out of the early stages of the competition. Inter-county players are certainly in favour of shaking things up, with 80 per cent of GPA members backing Proposal 'B'.

Tom Parsons has already called for another vote on championship reform early next year, while James Horan said it is all but certain that we will soon have a league-based championship format despite agreeing with the result of that vote at the weekend.


Pat Spillane is in a similar camp.

Speaking on RTÉ's Sunday Sport, the Kerry legend has pleaded with the GAA to change the format of the championship as soon as possible, although he believe Proposal 'B' was not the way forward.

I thought the decision was a correct one.

It's clear after yesterday that a majority accept that the GAA championship isn't fit for purpose. It's not working and we need to revamp the championship.

It needs to be more competitive, we need more meaningful games for weaker counties, we must breathe life into it, and if at all possible we need to close that gap between the weaker counties and the stronger counties.

Option A was never a runner. Option B gave you the choice of choosing between the lesser of two evils but it had too many flaws; it wasn't the ideal solution.

The task force brought in these recommendations two years ago and an awful lot of water has gone under the bridge since then. We now have the split season of club and county which has been brilliant.

Covid has also had a huge impact, particularly financially. There was no proper cost-benefit analysis of Proposal B.

The other big problem was that overnight you were getting rid of the provincial championships, and the power of the provincial councils. Yes they would have existed but really only as a pre-season tournament before the league. The link between them and championship was gone and that was fatal.

The idea of lower-ranked Division 1 teams losing out on a place in the knockout stages while a team ranked 17th or 25th in the league would go through... there were just too many flaws.

Let's be realistic, society is very unequal. Communism and socialism were great ideas - that everybody should have equality - but they failed. Sport is a mirror image of society, where there's strong and weak, big and small etc.

No matter what system you bring in, you're still going to get hammerings.

Hopefully this will be seen as the first step towards real change in the championship and not the end of the road for that discussion.


SEE ALSO: McConville And Fermanagh Manager Slam GAA Congress Voting System

oisin mcconville kieran donnelly gaa congress secret ballot



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