The proposal which would see a league format implemented in the All-Ireland Football Championship has been defeated at the GAA Special Congress.
The motion, known as Proposal B, received the support of 50.6 per cent of of delegates at the congress, well short of the 60 per cent that was needed for it to pass.
As a result, the Championship will revert back to the format which was last used in 2017, with qualifiers and a knock-out matches at the quarter-final stage, rather than the ‘Super Eight’ format that was used in 2018 and 2019.
The second tier championship known as the Tailteann Cup will come into place however, which will feature teams from Division 3 and 4 of the Allianz Leagues who fail to reach a provincial final.
Both championship restructure proposals were defeated.
Proposal A, which would have seen some teams relocated to other provincial championships in order to have an equal number of teams in each was heavily defeated, with 90 per cent of delegates voting against the motion.
That proposal had always looked very unlikely to pass, but Proposal B had gotten the support of 80 percent of players, according to the Gaelic Players Association.
The current GAA president Larry McCarthy and director general Tom Ryan both announced their support of Proposal B, along with many counties across Leinster, Connacht and Munster.
Down were the sole county in Ulster to back the proposal however, which is not entirely surprising given the quality and competitiveness of the Ulster Championship in its current format.
Motion 19, which proposed a League based All-Ireland SFC, has been defeated at GAA Special Congress. Go here for a recap of all of today’s events at Congress. #GAABelong
— The GAA (@officialgaa) October 23, 2021
Proposal B aimed to lessen the number of one-sided matches.
The vast majority of players supported Proposal B as it aimed to lessen the number of one-sided matches, as most counties would only play teams within their division in the championship.
The Leinster and Munster championships have been highly uncompetitive in recent years, with Tipperary’s Munster triumph last year the only time in nine seasons when Kerry didn’t prove themselves to be top dogs
Leinster is even less competitive, as Dublin have lifted the Delaney Cup 16 times in the last 17 years, and routinely beat their provincial rivals by staggering scorelines.
The Tailteann Cup will provide more competitive matches for weaker counties in the years to come, but those counties will feel like an opportunity has been missed nonetheless.