Wednesday 13 December 2017

Players from unseeded Munster counties plan protest meeting

The parade at this year's Munster final
The parade at this year's Munster final
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

IN an unprecedented move, players from the four 'unseeded' football counties in Munster are planning to come together tonight to formulate a response to last week's provincial council decision to seed Kerry and Cork once again.

Representatives of the Limerick, Waterford, Clare and Tipperary squads are due to meet at a Tipp venue later this evening to discuss their grievances over last week's turn of events in Munster.

A proposal from the province's competitions control committee to go back to a seedings system was carried, returning Munster to the format that applied prior to the 1991 championship.

It returned for two years in 2007 and 2008 but reverted back to an open draw after that, a format that gives the weaker football counties a chance of making a Munster final and fourth-round qualifiers.

Players from each of the four counties have been in touch with each other since last Thursday night and feelings are reportedly running high at an apparent absence of consultation over the issue.

Limerick formally proposed the motion while Cork seconded it but Tipperary and Clare delegates opposed it on the night.

In the past, Munster Council officials have pointed to a financial cost when there isn't a Munster final between the province's main protagonists.

The open draw in Munster over 20 years ago paved the way for Clare's 1992 triumph, the only non Cork/Kerry provincial success in modern times.

It is not clear what action the players can take or even whether they can find common ground to have the decision reversed but clearly there is intent if they are willing to meet on the issue.

Limerick delegates voted in favour of seeding with the approval of its football board.

With the championship draws slated for the week after the All-Ireland hurling final replay, the players have little time to act.

It appears that players in some counties were under the impression that Cork and Kerry would get byes into the semi-final but would not be kept apart under a new proposal. There was also talk of a round-robin structure for the quartet of counties prior to advancement for the top two to semi-finals.

Irish Independent

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