Wednesday 21 August 2019

Proposal A or Proposal B - GAA reveal plans for tier-two championship and scrap St Patrick's Day date for club finals

The GAA have revealed plans for a tier-two football championship. Photo by Harry Murphy/Sportsfile
The GAA have revealed plans for a tier-two football championship. Photo by Harry Murphy/Sportsfile Newsdesk Newsdesk

The GAA have revealed their two plans for a second tier football championship, which they will send forward to be voted on at a special congress in October.

In a statement today, the GAA have outlined two proposed tier two competitions, one of which they hope to have in place in 2020.

Proposal A will see the provincial championships continue as present, with the qualifiers reduced to two rounds from four and only featuring teams from National League Division One and Two.

The format for Proposal A would see 16 teams from Division Three and Four compete in a straight knockout competition - unless they make a provincial final.

On Proposal A, the GAA say that there is a 'possibility for the competition to be organised on a geographical basis – northern and southern conferences for first round ties, quarter-finals and semi-finals to ensure less travel for teams and supporters, while also retaining local rivalries.

'The semi-finals would be the only senior inter-county GAA events on their respective weekend – barring a major replay.'

Proposal B also features Division Three and Four teams who do not reach a provincial final. In the event that one does, their place in the tier two competition would be taken by the lowest ranked Division Two team from that year's league.

This proposal sees 16 teams face off in round one across eight games. The second round is then broken up into 2A and 2B.

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2A will see the eight winners from round one play each other across four games, and 2B will see the four losers play each other across four games.

The four winners from Round 2A advance to the quarter-finals, with round three seeing the four 2B winners face the four 2A losers, with the winners moving on to the last eight.

The winner of the final in either proposal would be guaranteed a place in the following year's tier one championship, regardless of league position.

The GAA added that the tier two tournament will have 'dedicated broadcast coverage and a marketing and promotional campaign with a dedicated All-Star selection and tour, and the finals under both proposals would take place at Croke Park'.

The proposals will now be sent to counties for discussion with a final wording on the proposals to be agreed at a meeting of Ard Chomhairle in September.

The GAA has also confirmed that the club hurling and football finals will no longer be played on St Patrick's Day from next year.

In 2020 the senior semi-finals in hurling and football will be played across the weekend of January 4/5. The AIB All-Ireland club senior finals in hurling and football will now be played on Sunday, January 19.

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