It's only the league!

This is a long time grumble of mine .
There is so much talk of championship reform due to the uncompetitive nature of the matches , yet we have a competition that is structured and tiered and we discount it as meaningless .

I’ve seen a change in attitudes to the league but the age old "it’s only the league " mantra is pedalled out at every opportunity .

If the league was held in high regard it would negate the need for championship reform to some degree .

I’ve seen other sports conceive of new competitions and promote them to the point that they are considered meaningful .

Our league languishes and the irony is that a league competition , held in high regard , structured and tiered is exactly what our games need .

So my question is can the league be elevated in status in its present format ?

Is there an appetite to do that ?

Will the league ever gain parity of esteem with the championship ?

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Not if it’s used a vehicle for trying out players and tactics, and if it continues to be played when A/ the players are least fit and B/ the weather is most unsuitable.

If a radical overhaul of the championship - the provincial championships especially - is too much to consider they should move the league start back to April/ May then run it straight into the championship, and then do away with replays and the backdoor and go straight knock out up to the final.

The AI final could and should be moved forward, and the club championship played out by year end.

The answers to your questions are no, no and no.

I think players recognise it and hold it in greater esteem than the provincials . Galvin said in his Sunday times article that he’d swap provincial medals for league medals.

Radical stuff but makes a lot of sense

In order of importance to this Dublin team you would have to say

All Ireland
O Byrne
The problem as I see it is the link between provincial and all Ireland series .

A league running into the championship makes a lot of sense . It’s a question of how long the GAA will tolerate woefully one sided provincial championships being intrinsically linked to their flagship competition.

This might seem absolutely mental but I think this should be looked at.

Do away with league finals and semi finals, whoever has the most points is champions. All winners of 4 divisions are guaranteed a spot in the all ireland quarter finals.

The other 4 places come from the provincials. Should a team be winners of a league division and a provincial the losing finalist of the provincial takes that place in the all ireland. No more qualifiers, which have been a total failure imo.

Something along these lines would make everybody take the league and provincials more seriously.

I think a league running up to the beginning of the championship will improve the quality of both.

There is an argument for the back door being kept solely for teams in the lower leagues, Dublin/ Kerry etc shouldn’t get a second chance - again would improve the quality as they know one bad performance and they are gone.

They won’t get rid of the provincials as most counties haven’t a hope of an AI but a good year could see them in a provincial final, like Louth a few years ago.

Westmeath last year? Meath …

There you go.

Do all changes in the GAA have to take place through congress ?
Is democracy the issue ? Too many counties voting with their own interests in mind as opposed to the overall quality of the competitions.

A strong league considered on par with championship is possible if properly implemented .

As dubs this is the most unappealing and non engaging time of the year in football terms .

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Most counties wouldn’t agree with him. Easy to say when they could just give you the Bob O’Keefe cup now

Interesting to see Connolly engaging with Sky sports interviewer (joking “What you want to tell me all about the year goals we set at the training camp”), usually very standoffish in interviews…he played very well when not taking taking too much out of the ball- got a few good scores after Laois goals in second half: thought Dean Rock could have easily got MOTM also- he showed up, and took scores, very well…

I wish they’d give us the Bob o keefe now !
Assuming you mean the Delaney cup , I’m still not sure having no hope of wining it is better than being guaranteed to win it .