PARAIC DUFFY’S PLANS to revamp the All-Ireland senior football championship received a major boost last night when Tipperary voted to support the GAA Director-General’s proposals at Annual Congress – having originally shot them down.
Liam Kearns and his Tipperary players at last year’s Munster football final.
Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO
Delegates voted 36-20 in favour of a restructured football championship, extra-time instead of replays, and bringing the dates of the All-Ireland finals forward to August.
With Tipperary entitled to eight votes when Congress sits at the weekend, the decision to support Duffy could prove hugely significant in the end result, as officials representing the county are now mandated to vote in favour of change.
At a county board meeting last September, Tipperary indicated that they would not be supporting Duffy’s blueprint but they’ve now come full circle after the Monaghan native made a personal visit to the Premier County in late November and urged them to reconsider.
pure disaster, doesnt have any benefit to us trying to reach the same stage as last year! Dont know what county board are thinkin
— Brian Fox (@brianfoxtipp) February 22, 2017
Source: brian fox/Twitter
That move appears to have worked, even though Tipperary senior football manager Liam Kearns told The Tipperary Star yesterday that he, his players and the county football committee were steadfastly opposed to Duffy’s plans.
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Kearns is dead set against the proposed introduction of a round-robin series of games at the All-Ireland quarter-final stage from 2018, arguing that it would be extremely difficult to match the achievements last year, when Tipp reached a senior semi-final for the first time since 1935.
Quoted before last night’s meeting, Kearns said: “Speaking on behalf of the Tipperary senior football management team, the football board and our players I would like to say that we are against the round robin proposals.
“We are against it and what the county board do then after that will be interesting to see.
“It’s very simple. If you lose a championship match and go into the qualifiers you are going to have to play four or five games in about six or seven weeks and then when you get to the quarter-finals you will then have to play three of the strongest teams for three weeks in-a-row.
“It favours the teams with the most depth – Dublin, Kerry, Mayo, Tyrone and all the teams that are up there at that level. It does not favour or it does not give any chance to the teams below that.”
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