Wednesday 22 November 2017

Football Review Committee part two

-- main points and proposals

* That the Central Competitions Control Committee (CCCC) should have overall responsibility for co-ordinating fixtures at national, provincial, county, club, third level and schools. The FRC see independent fixture-making bodies as not lending themselves to proper coherence.

* Semi-final stage in intermediate and senior club football in all counties should be reached by the first weekend in August. This can be achieved if every county plays a minimum of one match every month between April and July unless the format in the county is such that fewer games can lead to early elimination.

* All-Ireland club championship to be completed in December instead of the following St Patrick's Day.

* Four provincial championships of eight teams achieved by moving the losers in four preliminary round fixtures (three in Leinster, one in Ulster) to Munster and Connacht. The losers in Ulster would go to Connacht, one of the three losers in Leinster would also go to Connacht with the other two going to Munster to strike the balance of eight. Preliminary round teams would be determined by a link to lowest league placings on the previous year's tables. Essentially four teams could then lose twice and still be in the championship.

* If that is accepted, the FRC propose the 16 provincial quarter-finals to be played over two successive weekends, with the eight semi-finals and four finals also played over two successive weekends. This would potentially 'free up' four weekends for club activity. Qualifiers would be retained with a 16-team first round.

* The league should be retained but completed in mid-April with no Div 1 semi-finals.

* A national strategy for 'less successful' counties to be rolled out offering new levels of financing and quality coaching.

* Retention of the inter-provincial championships, play them over two days in a town or city with a strong GAA base with live TV and free admission considered and a strong marketing emphasis.

* Reduction of minor age limit from U-18 to U-17 so a majority of players can avoid clash with the Leaving Cert.

* Conclusion to the second-level schools competitions earlier in the year. Presently they conclude in April.

* Reconsideration of the "two academic courses" eligibility rule at third level that prevented Aidan Walsh from playing with DCU last season. The FRC believes it is "disenfranchising" players with a key role.

* Retention of the International Rules series.

* Proper enforcement of the closed season and prevention of anyone still involved in U-21 inter-county competition from playing or training with his county senior team.

Irish Independent

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