The GAA’s Central Council are due to meet this weekend to consider the two Championship structure reform proposals that were put forward by a working group the association convened in the wake of last year’s Special Congress, which saw the radical Proposal B narrowly fail to gain the required 60% support.
As you may recall from a piece I did on this before Christmas (here), the two proposals under consideration now have been colour-coded. The Red proposal retains the League-as-Championship approach of Proposal B while the Green option would keep the National League and provincial Championships as they are, followed by a round-robin phase to get to the knockout stages of the Sam Maguire and Tailteann Cups.
Ahead of this weekend’s Central Council meeting it appears that all the momentum is now behind the Green proposal. This would guarantee a minimum of four Championship matches for every county – at least one in the provincial Championship followed by three round-robin matches (and more for counties who then progress to the knockout stages of the Sam Maguire and Tailteann Cups).
RTÉ’s Damien Lawlor reported yesterday (here) that Provincial Council heavyweights are lining up to support the steady-as-she-goes Green proposal. That’s not surprising as under this option the provincial Championships would be retained pretty much as they are at present.
What’s somewhat more surprising is that the GPA have today also come out in favour of the Green proposal. They led the charge on the Proposal B option last year so it’s a significant shift in their part to be weighing in behind the less radical Green option this time.
As GPA CEO Tom Parsons explained today (RTÉ report here), when members were asked for their opinion on the reform proposals 70% of inter-county squads expressed support for the Green proposal. The GPA has now written to county boards to let them know this.
In light of these developments, it now appears all but certain that the Green option for Championship reform will be voted through at Congress next month. If this happens, the 2023 football Championship would be played off under the new structure.