The All-Ireland senior football championship will have two-tiers starting from 2020 after a motion was passed this afternoon at Special Congress in Cork.
The new system will operate on a three-year trial basis effective immediately meaning there will be massive changes enforced ahead of the new season.
The tiered system means that counties competing in Division 3 and 4 of the Allianz Leagues will be unable to contest for the Sam Maguire Cup, barring of course if they qualify for their respective provincial finals.
The bottom 16 teams will now play in a second-tier competition that has yet to be named. The motion needed a 60% majority to pass and exceeded that greatly with 75.5%.
The first motion voted on was Motion 2 from Tipperary which passed with 87.5% meaning that second-tier teams will be determined following the conclusion of next year’s Allianz Leagues rather than at the beginning. This means Gaelic football powerhouse Cork have a chance to ensure their place in the race for Sam Maguire by gaining promotion from Division 3.
The decision is sure to be met with a lot of discontent as a plethora of players, managers and administrators have repeatedly been very vocal in their opposition to the proposal put forward. The decision to usher through a second-tier so quickly is seen by many as a knee-jerk reaction from GAA President John Horan.
Other motions passed at today’s Special Congress include the introduction of a sin bin and a new rule that all kick-outs should be taking from the 20-metre line.