PLENTY TO PONDER Connacht GAA Secretary John Prenty during the GAA Special Congress at Croke Park in Dublin on Saturday. Pic: Sportsfile
Football championship revamp must happen after Proposal B fell, says Connacht Council Secretary
Proposals aimed at revamping the All Ireland football season were rejected at Saturday’s GAA Special Congress in Croke Park, but Connacht Council Secretary, John Prenty says change is coming down the track.
Speaking to The Mayo News shortly after Motion 19 (Proposal B) received 50.6 percent of votes when 60 percent was needed for its adoption, Prenty said the hunger for change is huge and it’s only a matter of time before we see it.
“There was a great discussion today and it came down 50/50 in the end. The big problem with the proposal was the way it was framed and the amount of changes needed which would have had to go back to another congress. Most people thought it was better to come back with a correct plan rather than something which would have to be modified,” he said, before agreeing that a revamp of the championship is badly needed.
“We need change, maybe not Plan B, but we need change and we need it quickly. I’ll always maintain that the provincial championships should have a big part to play in the All Ireland series and that was a weakness in Plan B today. We’ll now have to go away and come up with a plan to incorporate change and maintain the provincial championships.
“Connacht championship games are huge occasions but they wouldn’t be huge occasions in January or February and that was felt widely among the delegates today. Throw in the fact that three teams from Division 1 wouldn’t get to play in the All Ireland series while teams in lower divisions would, was another aspect that didn’t sit well with a lot of delegates.
“There’s no doubt, the current championship structures are not working and to be honest a lot of counties haven’t a lot to play for. We have to design a championship where they have something meaningful to play for and I don’t think today’s Plan B did a lot for them in that regard either,” he said.
Mayo manager James Horan was in agreement with Prenty. Speaking on RTÉ in Bekan where he was watching club championship action, the Ballintubber man said he wasn’t surprised Proposal B had been rejected.
“I was never too sure about it. I think a league-based championship is the way to go but I’m not sure if what was voted on today was the right format. My worry was the amount of Division 1 teams who wouldn’t get a crack at the All Ireland series while Division 3 and Division 4 teams would. Some of the nuances around that need to be ironed out and eventually I think a league-based format is where we will end up, which would produce good games on a more regular basis and I think that’s what everyone wants,” he said.