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Club leagues will be a big loss

Sport

Ger Flanagan

THE Mayo GAA Senior Leagues looked set to be scrapped from the 2020 fixtures calendar last night (Monday) after clubs voted narrowly in favour of running Divisional Cup competitions instead. Last week the Competitions Control Committee [CCC] of Mayo GAA decided to canvas clubs in relation to playing either the Senior Leagues or Divisional Cups after a number of clubs had expressed their concerns in relation to the league format being proposed, ‘especially in relation to promotion/relegation’. Clubs were asked to vote on their preference from two options – Option A: Retain League format as sent out to clubs last week – to include promotion/relegation; Option B: To play Michael Walsh Legaue and Divisional Competitions in place of the County Leagues. Clubs were given until last Friday, June 19 to reply with their decision. The Mayo News understands that Option B received more votes from clubs, although it is believed that a number of clubs did not reply by the close of deadline. A CCC meeting to discuss the outcome of how clubs voted, and to make a final decision on the structure of the club fixtures schedule for the coming months was due to take place last night (Monday). Speaking to The Mayo News ahead of the meeting, Mayo GAA PRO Paul Cunnane declined to be drawn on the possible outcome of the CCC discussions and said he wasn’t aware at that stage how clubs had voted. However, he did explain the reasoning behind the decision to allow clubs to vote on two different options after the CCC had originally decided to go ahead with the Senior Leagues earlier this month. “Once the fixture calendar was sent out to clubs there was some correspondence in relation to the structure and what was proposed,” he said. “Based on that feedback we decided that we should take the clubs’ views on board in deciding how the league structure should be ran, or if it should be ran at all. “After contacting all the clubs, they had until Friday evening to submit their views ahead of the next CCC meeting where we will review what the clubs have sent in, and in conjunction with Croke Park, we’ll make a decision on how the fixtures will proceed over the next couple of months.” In light of the Government’s announcement that all contact sports will be allowed to resume from June 29 lat week, the GAA accelerated their return to play roadmap, which will see pitches across the country open from Wednesday, June 24. Club matches can proceed from July 17, however there will be no change to the ruling that prevents inter-county training beginning before September 14. The Mayo Senior, Intermediate and Junior football championship finals had been fixed for the weekend of September 19/20, but there is some speculation that those deciders may now be played a week earlier.

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