Thursday 8 December 2016

Second-tier teams voice concerns over Farney ruling

Published 23/02/2012 | 05:00

DIVISION 2 counties are keeping a watching brief on the GAA's decision to order Monaghan to forego home advantage for their Allianz League game against Louth next month in case it distorts the table.

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There is concern among others in the group that the Central Hearings Committee's (CHC) decision to force Monaghan to travel to Louth could impact on them, either in the race for promotion or the battle against relegation.

Playing at home is regarded as a considerable advantage, one which Louth have been handed in unusual circumstances.

The fixtures plan seeks to give counties a four/three home-away split of their seven league games in alternate years and while it doesn't always work out due to movement between divisions, it's accepted by counties as being fair.

However, if the CHC decision to award Louth home advantage against Monaghan is upheld, it will give them an edge which they would not normally have enjoyed.

Indeed, if Louth beat Monaghan, other counties in the group may object later on if they finish just behind Peter Fitzpatrick's men.

One Division 2 county chairman said he was amazed by the CHC decision to order Monaghan to travel to Louth for their clash on March 11. The CHC made their decision after Monaghan refused to accept a Competitions Control Committee recommendation that they be fined €5,000, arising from incidents in last Sunday week's clash with Kildare in Clones.

"We're all keeping quiet on this for the moment because we don't know how the next few weeks will work out, but rest assured that if Louth beat Monaghan and some county loses out on promotion or is relegated after finishing behind Louth, they will be asking questions," he said.

"Taking home advantage away from Monaghan is one thing, but why should Louth benefit as a result? If Monaghan were to lose home advantage, the game should be played at a neutral venue."

Monaghan's appeal against the CHC decision will be heard next Wednesday.

Irish Independent

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