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Pat Spillane Tears Into 'One Of The Dumbest Projects Ever Dreamt Up By The GAA'

Pat Spillane Tears Into 'One Of The Dumbest Projects Ever Dreamt Up By The GAA'
By Gary Connaughton Updated
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Championship season started with a bang this weekend, with New York's historic victory over Leitrim getting the ball rolling on what should be a very interesting summer of Gaelic football.

This year will see the introduction of a new championship format, one that brings a round robin format to the All-Ireland series at both Sam Maguire and Tailteann Cup level. This means that each team will be guaranteed at least three games after the conclusion of the provincial championships, with most of them playing even more than that.

Of course, all of this is being done while the GAA have shortened the inter-county calendar as they persist with the split season. That has resulted in a packed fixture schedule, something that not everyone is a fan of.

Pat Spillane hammers GAA once again for calendar change

While most people are in favour of the split season, the added games in this year's championship does complicate things a bit. Still, the advantages it can offer to both club and county players are clear.


Pat Spillane is someone who would not agree with that assessment.

The Kerry legend has railed against the concept from the very start, repeatedly saying that Gaelic games would lose ground to other sports by moving the All-Ireland finals to earlier in the summer. His stance has only become firmer on the back of the calendar change.

Writing in his column in the Sunday World, he labelled the the fixture schedule for 2023 as 'one of the dumbest projects ever dreamt up by the GAA':


Sadly, the GAA’s blue-riband competition has turned into a cross between Speedy Gonzales, the Just A Minute Quiz and speed dating. Blink, and you’ll miss a lot of it.

And the fans are all at sea. Most haven’t a bull’s notion how the new complicated Championship works, and neither do many of the players.

Welcome to one of the dumbest projects ever dreamt up by the GAA powers.

The inter-county season has become a glorified box-ticking exercise, with too many games squeezed into an tight time frame.

There were 60 games in the 2022 All-Ireland football series. There will be 99 this year, but only an extra week to play the extra 39 contests. Lord God Almighty! 24 games will be played in the Sam Maguire series between May 20/21 and June 17/18 to eliminate just four counties.

There will be Championship action on 12 of the next 13 weekends. Between now and the All-Ireland football final there are only three football-free weekends...

Last weekend Sligo and Mayo won trophies at headquarters. It doesn’t happen too often. But their players didn’t get a chance to celebrate afterwards. Their ‘Monday club’ was a recovery session in a swimming pool.

The crazy fixture schedule sees them in Championship action seven days after the league finals. Player welfare, rest and recovery – don’t make me laugh.

All these players were back in their jobs on Monday morning. A professional schedule has been imposed on amateur players. It’s bonkers.

The added games do complicate matters somewhat, although you get the sense that many players would prefer to be playing consistent matches as opposed to training for weeks on end waiting for their next championship outing.

It will be interesting to see how the summer plays out, with the GAA keen for it to be a massive success.

SEE ALSO: Delighted New York GAA Players React On Instagram To Historic Win

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