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Former GAA president John Horan calls for two-year trial of Proposal B from 2023

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Former GAA president John Horan jokes with Brian Fenton of Dublin following the 2020 All-Ireland football final at Croke Park. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Former GAA president John Horan jokes with Brian Fenton of Dublin following the 2020 All-Ireland football final at Croke Park. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Former GAA president John Horan jokes with Brian Fenton of Dublin following the 2020 All-Ireland football final at Croke Park. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Former GAA president John Horan has given his backing to Proposal B, advocating a league-based championship through summer which Special Congress delegates will vote on this Saturday.

Horan used an online meeting of county chairs on Monday evening, convened to discuss financial aspects of the proposal, to set out his position, calling for a two-year trial in 2023 and 2024 with any tweaks to be made between now and Congress next February.

In the meantime, the 2022 championship would revert to the status quo with qualifiers, straight knockout quarter-finals and the Tailteann Cup.

Horan, who put the Fixtures Calendar Review Task Force in place that came up with the two proposals, as well as a raft of other motions for change around fixtures including the split season, is also understood to have made the case for Proposal A, four provincial groups of eight that would involve preliminary losers in one province moving to another, to be withdrawn ahead of Saturday due to lack of support.

The decision not to reconvene the Task Force in the run up to Congress and effectively leave the motions for change without a guiding body has also been a source of criticism. Horan has not spoken publicly about the proposals since leaving office in February and opted to use the forum of a gathering of chairmen to put across his opinion.

One Ulster chairman is understood to have challenged the figures presented by Croke Park and felt finance should not be the main arbiter in any decision.

So far three members of the original Task Force have come out to publicly support Proposal B – Conor O’Donoghue, GPA representative Ronan Sheehan and Cork chief executive Kevin O’Donovan, while Micheál Martin, the Wexford chairman, intimated to Wexford GAA TV over the weekend that he is broadly in favour of change.

Monaghan player Darren Hughes has come out against change, or at least what’s being proposed in Proposal B. He feels the exclusion of the ‘sixth’ team from Division 1 from the play-offs is the biggest sticking point.

Meanwhile, Galway football manager Pádraic Joyce has added former Kildare manager Cian O’Neill to his backroom team for 2022.


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