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Unoriginal & unfair | Paul Rouse bemoans doomed tiered championship


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As the GAA prepares to introduce a tiered championship structure for Gaelic football, Paul Rouse questioned the capabilities of such a system to enact meaningful change on Monday's OTB AM

On a weekend of significant change for the Senior Football Championship and its playing rules, the introduction of a tiered structure from 2020 onward has generated the greatest interest.

A change that will see teams in Divisions Three and Four enter an alternative championship should they fail to reach their respective provincial decider, Paul Rouse shared his distaste for what he believes is yet another boon for elitism within the GAA.

"A tiered championship is not new," he explained on Monday's OTB AM, "one-hundred years ago there were Junior championships at inter-county level, there was a 'B' All-Ireland in the 1990s, and so on.

"This is not a new idea, and this 'not new' idea will fail again if it is left on its own as a thing, and expected to do something.

"It cannot happen, it cannot work."

Open to the idea of a tiered championship structure in principle, Rouse argued that the rushed nature of this latest change offers no indication that the weaker footballing counties will experience any benefit.

"How does this help football in, for example, Waterford, in Wicklow, in whichever of the counties that are rooted at the bottom of Division Four?

"Every year those counties play games against teams at their own level and it doesn't bring them on.

"The most successful time in which a range of teams came through in the GAA was when there was a Division 1A and 1B, Division 2A and 2B, in which there was a mix of teams from across the four divisions were playing against each other.

"You had new championship winners coming through and new National League winners coming through year after year.

"In and of itself, this version that the GAA have come with is unfair, because it allows counties in different sizes of provincial championships different treatment."

In a lengthy discussion that you can watch back here, Paul Rouse condemned the manner in which the association had yet again overlooked the interests of club players also.

"What's really interested me is that in all of this there is no thought for club players," he outlined. "There are more inter-county matches being played.

"There is no way, in and of itself, that this can work, there is no way."

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Croke Park GAA Gaelic Football John Horan Louise Galvin Paul Rouse

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