Monday 5 December 2016

Colm Parkinson comes up with new format that could rescue gaelic football and aid clubs

Published 09/06/2015 | 20:56

Off The Ball presenter and former Laois footballer Colm Parkinson
Off The Ball presenter and former Laois footballer Colm Parkinson

Former Laois star and radio pundit Colm Parkinson has come up with a proposal for restructuring the gaelic football season.

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Fellow pundits Kevin McStay and Jim McGuinness have outlined their ideas for dealing with the problems of the game but Parkinson's plan takes into account beleaguered clubs who play most of their season without their best players and have their county championships organised around the exploits of their inter-county teams.

Here is how Parkinson plan works:

- Retain provincial championships but separate from All-Ireland series.

- Provincial championships can run from March with the All-Ireland series beginning in mid-April.

- All-Ireland series will have two main divisions... 1A and 1B, 2A and 2B.

- Division 1 and Division 2 of the current league would make up Division 1, while Division 2 will be drawn from counties from Division 3 and 4.

- Every team in the four divisions play seven championships games. The top four in each Division make the All-Ireland quarter-finals.

- Division 1 and Division 2 quarter-finals to take place in mid-August.

He told Off The Ball on Newstalk this evening: "The provincials need to stay, let's keep them but let's separate them from the All-Ireland.

"What I propose is that January-February play Sigerson Cup and the senior inter-county season begins in March.

"You only need four games to win a provincial championship so that can be played off every week for a month.

"The National League is the All-Ireland series. I'm just flipping the season around.

"It takes 10 championship games to win an All-Ireland. The games are on during the summer.

"The year is being condensed, so the club championships get more time. Clubs get summer football guaranteed. Outside the All-Ireland semi-finals all the county championships can begin on August 1.

"It's what we have now, just changed around."

Plenty of food for thought in that.

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