Ard Chomhairle managed to unanimously agree this morning on a pair of proposals based around the formulation of a Tier 2 All-Ireland senior football championship.
After Ard Chomhairle were able to come to an agreement, the pair of proposals will now be sent out to the wider membership for wider examination and discussion before the final decision will be made on the subject at Pairc Ui Chaoimh on October 19.
If all goes to plan, the proposal that is chosen will be implemented in time for the 2020 Championship summer.
According to the official website of the GAA, Proposal A will be laid out as follows.
Proposal A will feature the Provincial Championships as present with the current four rounds of All-Ireland Qualifiers reducing to two rounds and open to teams from Allianz Divisions 1 and 2 and any Allianz Division 3 and 4 teams who qualify for their Provincial Finals.
The Tier 2 Championship format of Proposal A is a straight knock out competition for 16 teams from across Divisions 3 and 4 that do not make their Provincial Finals.
There is the possibility for the competition to be organised on a geographical basis – northern and southern conferences for first round ties, quarter-finals and semi-finals to ensure less travel for teams and supporters, while also retaining local rivalries.
The semi-finals would be the only senior inter-county GAA events on their respective weekend – barring a major replay.
Proposal B, on the other hand, will differ in several ways.
Proposal B which has gone forward for discussion is similar to the above and also features Division 3 and 4 teams that do not reach a Provincial Final entering a new Tier 2 championship.
A key difference is that in the event that a Division 3 or 4 team do reach a Provincial Final, to make up 16 teams in Tier 2 their place in Tier 2 would be taken by the lowest ranked Division 2 team from that year’s Allianz league.
The format for the Tier 2 Championship in Proposal B features an initial round of games which then creates a winners’ group and a losers’ group and so offers beaten counties a way of playing their way back into contention.
Proposal B would be played out on the following lines:
16 Teams involved
Rd 1: 8 Teams v 8 Teams
Rd 2a: 4 Winners Rd 1 v 4 Winners Rd 1
Rd 2b: 4 Losers Rd 1 v 4 Losers Rd 1
Rd 3: 4 Rd 2b Winners v 4 Rd 2a Losers
QF: 4 Rd 2a Winners v 4 Rd 3 Winners
Semi-finals & Final
The same statement also put forth the idea of the eventual winner, under either proposal, being given a guaranteed spot in the following year’s All-Ireland Sam Maguire Championship.