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Ending provincial championship...
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Ending provincial championships would be a "grave mistake" says Ulster chief

Richie McCormack
Richie McCormack

05:16 16 Jan 2020

Ulster GAA Secretary Brian McAvoy says the provincial championships must be preserved. 

McAvoy was speaking about proposals of the Fixtures Calendar Review Taskforce in his Annual Report which has been published ahead of the 2020 Ulster Convention.

In December, the Taskforce offered up three different suggestions for the future of the Senior Football Championship.

The first proposal was to maintain the status quo. The second would see a league-type structure in the spring determining seedings for the summer Championship.

The third proposal has proved the most radical, and most controversial. It would see the league switched to the summer, with provincial competitions played in February and March.

McAvoy used his Annual Report to voice his strong disapproval of potential alterations to the calendar.

It's the national-league-as-championship format that most grinds McAvoy's gears. It envisages an Ulster Championship comprised of two groups of five teams, with a Leinster side parachuted in to even the groups.

McAvoy says such an arrangement is "a format I couldn’t support under any circumstances".

He's used the example of the creation of the Munster and Leinster round robins in the All Ireland Hurling Championship as effectively killing the Ulster Hurling Championship.

McAvoy claims, " When played as a standalone competition it [the Ulster Championship failed to capture the imagination of the public and indeed many players.

I fear the same fate would befall Football if this were to be the agreed way forward."

Of the other proposal, McAvoy says, " This would mean that two teams from Leinster and one from Ulster would compete in a different Provincial Championship.

The Provincial Championships are a core tenet of the GAA and ending them would be a grave mistake which would erode part of our core fabric."

The Ulster Secretary says the Taskforce report "deserves a mature debate", but adds that The history, uniqueness and competiveness of the Ulster Championship must be central to this debate."

McAvoy's full report can be found here.

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Brian McAvoy Congress Fixtures Calendar Review Taskforce GAA Ulster Football Championship Ulster Gaa Ulster Senior Football Championship

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