Friday 17 January 2020

What happens when relegation's trap door closes?

Mickey Harte led Tyrone straight back to Division 1 in 2016. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / Sportsfile
Mickey Harte led Tyrone straight back to Division 1 in 2016. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / Sportsfile
Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

Roscommon are already doomed to relegation from Division 1, leaving five others facing the chop across the Allianz football League landscape next Sunday.

Eleven counties are still at risk of dropping down a tier: Cavan, Kerry, Mayo in Division 1; Derry, Down, Fermanagh and Clare in Division 2; Laois, Longford and Offaly, Antrim in Division 3.

What happens to teams who are relegated? Does it leave them seriously deflated heading into the championship? And do they bounce straight back up in the following year's league or continue their downward slide?

Here's how the 24 counties who were relegated for the past four seasons fared over the next 12 months.


Division 1: Cork, Down

Division 2: Laois, Armagh

Division 3: Westmeath, Limerick

Westmeath reached the Leinster final, which was success of sorts, even if they did lose heavily to Dublin, but the rest had disappointing campaigns. Cork lost to Tipperary for the first time in 72 years; Down and Armagh bombed in Ulster and the qualifiers. Laois and Limerick made little impression either.

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Westmeath (Division 4) and Armagh (Division 3) are the only ones doing well in this year's league where Down and Laois are in real danger of being relegated for a second successive year.

Equally surprising has been Cork's level of inconsistency. As a result they'ven been some way off the promotion pace in Division 2 and are likely to finish fourth.


Division 1: Derry, Tyrone

Division 2: Kildare, Westmeath

Division 3: Wexford, Louth Tyrone reached the All-Ireland semi-finals, via the qualifiers; Kildare got to the quarter-finals through the same route; Westmeath reached the Leinster final.

Tyrone returned to Division 1 in 2016, while Louth came out of Division 4 after one season. However, Westmeath dropped into Division 4 last season.

Mickey Harte (left) led Tyrone straight back to Division 1 in 2016 and Kildare were promoted from Division 3 and Louth from Division 4. Westmeath continued their slide, dropping into Division 4.


Division 1: Kildare, Westmeath

Division 2: Louth, Armagh

Division 3: Longford, Offaly Armagh were the only side to make any impression in the championship, reaching the All-Ireland quarter-final where they lost to Donegal by a point. Kildare and Westmeath continued their slide in 2015, dropping from Divisions 1 to 3 in successive seasons, while Louth also completed a two-division slide (2 to 4). Armagh, Longford and Offaly were all promoted.


Division 1: Down, Donegal

Division 2: Longford, Wexford

Division 3: Wicklow, Antrim Donegal reached the 2013 Ulster final (lost to Monaghan) and All-Ireland quarter-final (lost to Mayo) while the rest did little in the championship. In 2014, Donegal returned to Division 1 while the other five had modest mid-table campaigns.

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