Kerry football great Pat Spillane has argued that rejecting Proposal B was the correct decision, but has called on the GAA to quickly make changes to the championship.
Proposal B, which would have seen a league format implemented in the All-Ireland Football Championship, was rejected at the GAA Special Congress after failing to receive 60 per cent of support from delegates.
Just over 50 per cent of delegates voted in favour of Proposal B however, which clearly shows that most in the GAA want major changes to the championship.
Spillane was speaking on RTE’s Sunday Sport and argued that while change is needed, there were too many flaws to the proposed league structure that was ultimately rejected.
Pat Spillane on why he wasn’t in support of Proposal B.
“I thought the decision was a correct one. It’s clear after yesterday that a majority accept that the GAA championship isn’t fit for purpose. It’s not working and we need to revamp the championship,” Spillane said.
“It needs to be more competitive, we need more meaningful games for weaker counties, we must breathe life into it, and if at all possible we need to close that gap between the weaker counties and the stronger counties.
“Option A was never a runner. Option B gave you the choice of choosing between the lesser of two evils but it had too many flaws; it wasn’t the ideal solution.”
— The GAA (@officialgaa) October 23, 2021
‘We need change. What we have isn’t working.’
While Spillane was happy to see Proposal B fail to pass at the weekend, he does believe that there should be another vote held at the next GAA Congress in February.
Although next year will feature a championship format that was last used in 2017, with a straight knock-out quarter-final stage and All-Ireland qualifiers, a new format could be used in 2023 should a different proposal pass early next year.
“We need a task force with the really bright, progressive people in the GAA who have no agenda. We need to come up with that plan by Christmas and have two months of a roadshow selling it to the counties in Ireland. Then hold a full congress,” Spillane argued.
“We need change. What we have isn’t working. Let’s not kick that can down the road any further, and let’s act quickly.
“Eventually the football championship is going to have to end up with two tiers. I would like the provincial championships to still have an input. How? I don’t know, but the provincial champions should be rewarded.”