Wexford GAA officials have been urged to include quarter-finals in their revised club championship structure, after some key decisions were made at a County Board meeting held via videoconference on Wednesday.
As expected, the suggested format of four groups of three teams in both codes was approved, with round one of the hurling competitions set to commence on Friday, July 31.
In a major break with tradition, those championships will be played to a conclusion, with the football competitions not getting under way until after hurling semi-finals have been played.
It means that, for the first time in living memory, the familiar pattern of a hurling week followed by a football week, and then back to hurling and so forth, has been dispensed with at adult level.
While several potential dates have been bandied about since the meeting, the official news to emerge from the County Board is that those details will not be decided until the revised national master fixture plan for the inter-county scene has been received.
Four venues have been earmarked for the staging of matches: Chadwicks Wexford Park, O'Kennedy Park in New Ross, along with Bellefield and St. Patrick's Park in Enniscorthy.
The imposition of relegation had been taken off the table before Wednesday's meeting, and it means that there will be promotion only in 2020 competitions, and no demotion.
That, in itself, will create problems in 2021 in the form of some 13-team grades, and the need to break away from the tried and trusted two groups of six formula to two fours and one five.
However, it was generally accepted that - given the exceptional circumstances - it was a case of doing whatever it takes in order to rid clubs of the threat of relegation in the current campaign.
The biggest bone of contention since the meeting was held surrounds the announcement, as per the Board's official Twitter feed, that it is 'hoped' that quarter-finals will be included in all competitions.
The fact that this is only an aspiration, rather than a guarantee, has been greeted with dismay in some quarters, given that a club losing its first championship game could be immediately out of contention in a group of three format.
When the G.A.A. at national level revealed its phased approach to a return to action, a window spanning eleven weekends - from July 31 to October 11 - was provided for club activity before the commencement of the inter-county calendar on October 17.
This led many clubs to believe that the optimum use would be made of the allocated time to cater for as comprehensive a club programme as possible in the trying circumstances.
However, while no official dates have been disclosed, and the issue of quarter-finals remains unresolved, it does appear that the County Board is considering a condensed diary of domestic fare.
Concern was voiced to me on Friday by Aidan O'Brien, the former Wexford Senior football boss who is currently working with manager Dessie Doyle as the Adamstown coach in both codes.
The Westmeath native was keen to stress that he was not out to have a go in his comments. 'Plenty of people are looking to use this as a stick to beat the County Board with, but I'm not in that camp,' he maintained.
To his credit, O'Brien is happy to be quoted on his personal opinion, unlike some of the hysterical reaction from assorted nameless contributors on social media.
'I don't see the motives for proposing such a structure,' O'Brien said.
'I wonder why they appear so anxious to get the club wrapped up quicker than is necessary?
'The Croke Park roadmap very explicitly stated there will be adult club games between July 31 and October 11, involving county players, so I'm asking why don't the County Board want to make the absolute most of that window and use it to its maximum value?
'All players are club players and, after the events of the last few months, why not strive to put on the best possible show for them, rather than running it off in a shorter timeframe?
'I would have thought the priority in the circumstances would be to ensure as many games as possible for all club players,' O'Brien said.
'In the current climate, huge questions have been asked of everybody in society. The G.A.A. have really come out very positively from the whole period, helping their communities in various capacities.
'Great things have been done at a local club community level, and all of these people now deserve to have a proper championship experience, the fullest and most rewarding it can be,' he added.
'Obviously compromises have to be made, and I accept that, but there is a need to make full use of ten weeks for club activity, they should all be used.'
O'Brien said he didn't have a difficulty with groups of three, so long as two teams apiece advance to quarter-finals, rather than just one going into a semi-final.
'Having quarter-finals ensures two-thirds of clubs will get at least another game, as opposed to one-third if it's just semi-finals. And without quarter-finals, certain games will be of no consequence.
'I'm not beating a revolutionary drum here, I'm looking at the situation in the calm light of day,' O'Brien pointed out.
One of the key men behind the outstanding record of Good Counsel College (New Ross) in Gaelic games, he also queried the decision to dispense with the week-on, week-off format whereby games switched from hurling to football and back again.
'What's the purpose of that? I don't think it's the right approach to take,' he said.
O'Brien felt that the first five to six weekends should be used for playing both codes alternatively, and then the full range of remaining time available in September and October could be occupied with the knockout matches.
'In the latter stages there would only be a small volume of teams left, and the majority of inter-county players would be freed up by then.'
On that point, O'Brien posed one final question: 'Given that club training can resume from June 29, and inter-county training can only return on September 14, will all players be with their clubs and nowhere else between those dates, as outlined in the official roadmap?
'I have been an inter-county manager too, and I'd like to think the current Wexford managers would support club hurling and football, and give it as much scope as possible,' O'Brien said.
'I'm trying to approach this from a non-emotive position. My final plea to the County Board is, don't try to curtail the clubs further by shoehorning the championships into a reduced period of time.'