Wednesday 19 December 2018

Financial boost for weaker counties


GAA president John Horan. Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
GAA president John Horan. Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

Weaker football counties are set to reap a rich dividend from the changed format in this year's All-Ireland championship.

They have been promised that a sizeable chunk of cash, flowing from the extra income generated by the 'Super 8s', will be diverted their way.

It was one of the selling points for the many counties who have little chance of reaching the round-robin series which replaces the All-Ireland quarter-finals.

Details won't be worked out until the autumn, when the total income for the championship is known.

However, with the 'Super 8s' featuring 12 games, as opposed to four in the traditional quarter-finals, there is certain to be a huge surge in income.

Hurling looks set for a major bonanza too, with the Leinster and Munster championships being played on a round-robin basis for the first time.

Both provinces did well last year and expect an even greater upswing this season.

A total of 1.6 million people attended last year's All-Ireland championships, a figure which is expected to be easily surpassed over the coming months.

"The round-robin format in the Leinster and Munster hurling championships will be huge attractions and the same will apply in football when the last eight break into two groups," said Alan Milton, the GAA communications director.

The action begins next weekend when Connacht stages two football quarter-finals - New York v Leitrim in Gaelic Park and London v Sligo in Ruislip."

Ulster (football) and Leinster (hurling and football) launch the following weekend, followed by Munster (hurling and football) on the weekend of May 19/20.

In order to provide the most comprehensive guide to the new-look championships, the GAA and the Irish Independent have been working together to produce a special preview magazine - which is featured in today's paper.

"In an attempt to inform our members and supporters of the changes coming, for the first time ever we have teamed up with the Irish Independent and their team of writers to outline what we can all expect as the weeks roll by," said GAA President, John Horan.

Irish Independent

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