GAA PRESIDENT JOHN Horan has revealed the identity of the chairman of the new Fixtures Review Group and will hope they will bring back three proposals with a view to overhauling the current fixtures schedule.
Eddie Sullivan, a former secretary-general within the public service and chairman of Dublin club St Sylvester’s, will chair the committee that will look at the overall schedule and fixture programme this summer.
Horan believes there is ‘an appetite’ for a Tier 2 championship to reform the All-Ireland football structure and it could be implemented for the 2020 season.
“If it was easily solved it would have been a solved a long time ago,” stated Horan on RTÉ Radio 1′s Morning Ireland earlier today.
“I would be hoping that this group will come back with proposals that will be beneficial to the clubs on the ground.
“Key to it all I think is that I would like them to come back with three proposals. To come back with one proposal and were it to fall would not serve any great purpose from the work of the committee.
“The indication I will be giving to them when they do come together is to come in with three proposals because there is a debate out there whether provincial championships should survive or not survive.
“That will be a decision taken by the membership of the organisation at Congress 2020, but in the meantime that offer has to be put on the table. When you look at the championships in the last few weeks you see great local derbies and great matches.
“Then you see some games a little bit with too big a gap in the result. With a big gap in the result if you look at the draw we have made this morning you can see a large number of Division Three and Four teams already in the qualifiers.
“So our hope would be that at the next Central Council meeting in June to bring forward a proposal to look at the introduction of a Tier 2 championship for those teams in Division Three and Four.
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“There is an appetite out there within the organisation for us to go ahead with a Tier 2 championship. Now, I feel, is the time to grab that when the appetite is out there. I think we will possibly get it through at Central Council and if we do we will call a Special Congress in September or October time to have a look at putting this forward to have it introduced next year.”
The make up of the review group will be announced shortly and Horan insisted the GAA are open to any idea being submitted by the committee.
“Everything is on the table, I’ve always said that. I’ve no fear putting this group together, giving them an opportunity to bring it in.
“There is lots of people out there with opinions on the problem, but when they take the whole complex nature of it into account they don’t necessarily have the simple solutions. So this committee are going to be given the opportunity to come in with whatever proposals, I’m not tying anybody’s hands behind their back.
“The ultimate decision will be made by the democratic process we have which is Congress.”
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