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12 Aug 2022

COMMENT: Clubs need to take hard decisions

Relegation battle to go down to the wire

Mohill captain Danny Beck receives the Division 1 trophy for Terence Boyle. Photo by Willie Donnellan

We’re coming to the end of the Dunnes Bar ACL campaigns but there could be a mess on the horizon in both Division 1 and 2.

Two walkovers in Division 1 could yet have a bearing on both ends of the table but it is in Division 2 where walkovers could cause major problems.

Having lost six games they fielded for this year, Melvin Gaels have conceded five games ensuring their relegation back to Division 3. But conceding those games completely screws up the use of scoring difference to decide final placings and opens up the possibility of playoff games to decide relegation or promotion.

This is not getting at Melvin Gaels, far from it as many clubs have problems fielding teams, and clubs are quite entitled to look after their own interests but short-sighted decisions, like the rejection of a proposal to reduce the number of teams in Division 1 and 2 to ten teams for 2019, will come back to haunt them now and in the future.

Reform is needed in League and Championship structures and players have to make sure that their clubs listen to them. A more competitive product will mean better football for all clubs at a level they can sustain rather than the malaise of just doing enough to avoid relegation.

With just 23 clubs fielding this year, the logic of a 12 team League has to be looked at and look at now.

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