The Gaelic Players Association have come out strongly in support of ‘Proposal B’, which would see a league format implemented in the Championship.
The GAA are set to decide on the future of the All-Ireland Football Championship at a Special Congress this month with two options being proposed to radically alter the format of the tournament.
The second of those proposals, which would see the league linked to the championship, along with a second-tier championship, has been strongly backed by the GPA.
GPA CEO and former Mayo footballer Tom Parsons was speaking on behalf of the organisation at a press conference today and revealed that an overwhelming majority support ‘Proposal B’.
GPA CEO Tom Parsons on the league-based Championship.
“Option B would breathe life into Gaelic football,” Parsons said, via RTÉ.
“Games develop players, especially in the spring and summer months and a minimum of seven championship games against sides of a similar level would be significant,” Parsons.
“We have 80 per cent of our membership in favour of Proposal B, 90 per cent of our GPA representatives and captains support the series. The Tailteann Cup also has huge support from our membership.
“It will allow teams to develop and play at their own level. The potential for brutal mismatches is lessened. This is about fairness.”
The GPA are backing Proposal B, the league based championship, at @officialgaa Special Congress. This position was arrived at after extensive consultation with players. #BackB pic.twitter.com/qM4iSCNlxS
— GPA (@gaelicplayers) October 7, 2021
The formats are being considered for the GAA Championship moving forward.
The format favoured by the GPA would see every division in the league play seven round-robin matches as always, but the competition would then filter into an All-Ireland series, instead of play-offs within the league.
The top five sides in Division 1 would progress to the All-Ireland quarter-finals, along with the top side in Division 2. The second and third-placed teams in Division 2 would then play the top sides in Division 3 and 4, where the winners progress to the quarter-finals.
A second division championship, which will be known as the Tailteann Cup, will feature counties from Division 3 and 4 which do not qualify for the All-Ireland series. Provincial Championships will be retained, but as pre-season tournaments played before the leagues begin.
The proposal will need the backing of 60 per cent of delegates at the Special Congress. If it does not receive that level of support, the Championship will revert back to either the Super 8 format used in 2018 and 2019 or the format used before that.