Time for a Championship rethink

A rethink is needed on the structure of the Championship is badly needed if weaker counties are to be given any hope for the future according to joint Leitrim manager George Dugdale in the aftermath of last Sunday’s Connacht Championship Semi-Final destruction in McHale Park.

A rethink is needed on the structure of the Championship is badly needed if weaker counties are to be given any hope for the future according to joint Leitrim manager George Dugdale in the aftermath of last Sunday’s Connacht Championship Semi-Final destruction in McHale Park.

Asked if there needs to be a rethink on the Provincial system, George said “It is hard to say now at this moment in time but there are a few stand-out scores, there was Dublin and Louth and there have been some other big margins and it is something that hierarchy are going to have to look at.”

A two-tier championship structure would encourage weaker counties and give players a realistic chance of success – “I suppose a decent second tier championship may be something to look at. Maybe being realistic, there are only maybe seven or eight teams who have a real chance to winning the All-Ireland. The rest have no chance or little chance.

“Because there is so much time and money invested in county teams and players put in so much effort, two games in the height of Summer if you were to lose your first round of the qualifiers is little return for all your efforts.

“Maybe a second tier competition where you have a chance to play on All-Ireland Final day and you have a realistic chance of winning is maybe something to look at and needs to be considered given the amount of expenditure that goes into the operation of teams at the moment.

“Obviously it has moved on a good lot (since George was playing) and there are upsets now and again but in the main, there is a two tier championship.

“Seven or eight teams have realistic ambitions and the rest are going to find it hard to even win provincial titles. Something will have to be looked at.”