All-Ireland Football Championship format could change following 16-year attendance low

GAA county chairmen meet in Croke Park to discuss potential format change

All-Ireland Football Championship format could change following 16-year attendance low

Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/James Crombie

GAA country chairmen from around the country have met in Croke Park today to discuss proposals for a change to the All-Ireland football championship format.

The chairmen have met to consider changes to the final stages of the championship, with GAA Director General Paraic Duffy recommending scrapping the quarter-final stages in place of an eight-team, two-group round robin format.

Duffy, who has also proposed finishing the provincial championships earlier in the year, aiming to have them all completed by the third Sunday in June. 

That change would see a rescheduling of the All-Ireland finals, with the second(Hurling) and fourth(Football) Sundays in August suggested as potential dates.

The proposals come at a time when footballing attendances have hit a 16-year low, falling below the figures of 2000, the year before the qualifiers were introduced.

The average attendances since 2009 have fallen to 881,935, compared to the 1,087,456 average in the period of 2001-2009. The 205,521 drop-off equates to a loss of 3,425 spectators per game, and the overall figures(excluding replays) are down over 100,000 since last year.

Via Irish Independent