John Horan believes football can learn a lot from hurling about the benefits of having a tiered championship system.
Speaking at yesterday’s launch of the McDonagh, Ring, Rackard and Meagher Cups competitions, the GAA president highlighted Carlow as a “shining example” of why football should follow hurling’s lead.
“Our football counterparts could learn an awful lot from hurling about the benefit of tiered championships.
“Carlow are a shining example to us in terms of the merit of these competitions and the progress which they’ve made. It’s that progression opportunity that these competitions present, and I feel that’s a great concept.”
Horan also took umbrage with national broadcaster and RTÉ over their number driven strategy when it comes to choosing which games they televise.
“You’ll see yourselves from the games that the TV companies have picked this year for the championship that it’s predominantly hurling matches for the first four or five weeks of the actual championship. They are driven by nothing other than numbers on the actual television screen,” Horan said.
“Dublin played a Leinster [football] championship match which was a foregone conclusion in the last two years, and when I spoke to the head of RTÉ, he said; ‘John, we are driven by figures. We’ll get over 300,000 watching that game.’
“So, unfortunately, they are driven by numbers, and that’s the control they have over it at the moment. But certainly in the next deal, we’ll be looking for greater coverage for your actual games in it and the only way we are going to get it is to tie it into a contract and not give them the flexibility of choice.”
Horan was speaking alongside GPA CEO, Paul Flynn, as they announced that five Joe McDonagh Cup games will be streamed live via the GAA this coming season.