GAA President Larry McCarthy expects Championship reform will be revisited ‘very quickly’

Larry McCarthy

GAA President Larry McCarthy expects that the debate around the format of the All-Ireland Football Championship will be revisited soon.

Proposal B, a motion that would have seen a league-based format implemented in next year’s All-Ireland Football Championship, was defeated today at a GAA Special Congress after it failed to get the support of 60 per cent of delegates.

McCarthy, as well as 80 per cent of players, were in favour of Proposal B, but the championship will revert back to the format last used in 2017, with provincial championships, qualifiers and a straight knock-out quarter-final stage.

McCarthy was speaking soon after the motion was defeated and predicted that change is on the way even though the status quo will remain for the time being.

Larry McCarthy on possible future changes to the championship.

“Having said during the week that I hoped we’d be bold, based on the result, for me, we weren’t bold enough in terms of it didn’t pass,” McCarthy said.

“But having said that we’re looking forward to a pretty altered landscape anyway for the championship in 2022. But, yeah, I would have liked to have seen it pass.

“I expect that we will revisit this very, very quickly. I’m not so sure we’ll have something for [Annual Congress 2022 in] February but there’s a majority for change and every speaker said they’d like change.

“In a lot of cases it just wasn’t the change that was proposed, but there’s certainly a mandate there for change. We will contemplate and see how we will bring forward some alternatives in terms of the options that are put on the table.”

The Tailteann Cup will be introduced next year.

While next year’s All-Ireland will be largely familiar, a second-tier championship known as the Tailteann Cup will be introduced for the first time in 2022.

The Tailteann Cup will feature counties from Division 3 and 4 who don’t reach their provincial finals, which will give weaker counties realistic hopes of getting their hands on a trophy every year.

The tournament was supposed to be held for the first time in 2020, but the outbreak of the pandemic saw the Tailteann Cup put on ice for two years.

Although the Tailteann Cup won’t represent as big a change as Proposal B, and it was set to take place under the proposal anyway, it will give players in the weaker counties more to play for.

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