Thursday 22 August 2019

Eugene McGee: Beware the impact of bringing forward dates for All-Ireland finals

Director-General of the GAA Páraic Duffy
Director-General of the GAA Páraic Duffy

Eugene McGee

I would not be in favour of bringing forward the two All-Ireland final dates as proposed by Páraic Duffy last week so that the football final would be on the first week in September and the hurling a week earlier.

The aim, I presume, is to help club fixtures but this is problematic. Only two counties are involved in an All-Ireland final so the remainder should not be affected at club level at all.

Indeed it is often forgotten that in recent years from August weekend on only FOUR counties are tied up with county football at senior level.

The other 27 should not be hindered regarding their own club games.

The promotional aspect of having two All-Irelands in the month of September is something the GAA should be very wary of changing.

In recent years media coverage of rugby and soccer has greatly increased and for the GAA to sacrifice a prime month of coverage seems a very dangerous development.

The recent swamping of rugby coverage should be a warning to the GAA not to shorten their own prime season.

As far as most Irish people are concerned, the GAA season lasts from June to September at present, so changing it to June-August plus a week must be seen as high risk.

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