GAA Special Congress has rejected the chance to revamp the All-Ireland championship as both Proposal A and Proposal B fell flat at Croke Park on Saturday.
Proposal B, which had the backing of a majority of the Gaelic Players Association needed 60% of the vote to be passed, however, it only received 50.6%. If passed, Proposal B would have seen the football championship revert to a league-based format. It had the backing of GAA president Larry McCarthy, as well as former president John Horan.
Proposal B defeated, just over 50% of the vote but shy of 60% required - I’d imagine Kerry, Mayo and Galway swung that on the tightest of margins.
— Tommy Rooney (@TomasORuanaidh) October 23, 2021
85 of the delegates present voted for Proposal B with 83 delegates voting against the motion.
Proposal A, which would see the format change to four provincial groups of 8 was widely rejected with 90% of delegates voting against this motion.
This means that the football championship will revert to the format last seen in 2017, whereby there will be a qualifier system with the Tailteann Cup added. There will be two rounds of qualifiers rather than four.
The weeks preceding the vote saw many differing opinions. GPA CEO Tom Parsons had argued that Proposal B benefitted the players as it offered the chance for every inter-county side to play more competitive games.
"This guarantees seven competitive championship games in the Spring or Summer for all teams," Parsons said earlier this month.
"Games develop teams. Games develop players. So development is really important.
"Competitive balance with that as well. If you're playing games, you need to be playing against teams at your own levels.
"It's fair. Fairness is really important because we want to end these brutal mismatches we're getting at the height of the summer."
Offaly GAA chairperson, Michale Duignan had argued for Proposal B earlier on in the day, imploring the GAA to embrace the changes that were put forward in that motion.
Leinster voted largely in favour of Proposal B but worth noting that Offaly chairman Michael Duignan (who was the first chairman to openly back it too) was the only voice from the province backing it in an hour long debate.
— Will O'Callaghan (@willocallaghan) October 23, 2021
"Players throughout Ireland are crying out for change," Duignan said.
They are putting in huge time and sacrifices to play one or two championship matches in a year which is not satisfactory.
"If we do not pass this motion today I'd have serious concerns many of our own footballers will walk away from the inter-county game.
"It is time for a change. Today is the start of that change. We have to be brave and I think we have to be revolutionary."
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