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"There's going to be huge appetite to play those games" | Tom Parsons on the GAA schedule

Tom Parsons is the GPA Chief Executive. He joined Nathan Murphy on Off The Ball on Thursday to d...

Cian Fahey
Cian Fahey

17:34 7 Oct 2021



Football

"There's going to be huge appetite to play those games" | Tom Parsons on the GAA schedule

Cian Fahey
Cian Fahey

17:34 7 Oct 2021

Tom Parsons is the GPA Chief Executive. He joined Nathan Murphy on Off The Ball on Thursday to discuss the proposed GAA season structures.

Special Congress will take place on October 23rd.

The future of intercounty football will be determined then. Delegates will decide between proposal A and proposal B. In Proposal A, the league will continue as is in the Spring, Ulster and Leinster championships will start as normal but the losers will then end up moving to Connacht or Munster. Each province would have eight teams.

Proposal A doesn't have any steam right now.

Proposal B means flipping the season so the provincial championship plays first and then we move onto the league in the heart of the summer. Every team would be guaranteed seven competitive games and every team would have the chance to compete for Sam Maguire.

The GPA have come out strongly behind Proposal B. Tom Parsons explained to Nathan Murphy why that is.

"It's quite complex sometimes when you're explaining structures in two minutes," Parsons said.

"We've a number of whys. Before I even tell you the whys, we've surveyed our players, we've held workshops and focus groups, one-to-one with players, every rep or captain across each county. We hosted a work shop for managers so we've a very robust opinion of the players."

The players are strongly coming out for the second option for a number of reasons, according to Parsons.

"One is development. This guarantees seven competitive championship games in the Spring or Summer for all teams. 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."

Niall Morgan today echoed Parsons' comments by showing his support for Proposal B.

Proposal B would pit all teams playing across different divisions. That means the likes of Dublin ripping through Leinster every year wouldn't happen. Dublin may still rip through their opponents whomever they may be, but it wouldn't be based on geography and other teams would have a fairer shot at them.

Parsons compared himself with Leitrim captain Paddy Maguire. Maguire's championship season typically lasted two or three games, whereas Parsons could play six or seven games in a single season.

That discrepancy makes it very difficult for the less successful teams to develop season-on-season.

In this redesigned season, there would be 16 games every weekend during the Summer. This should bring a lot of excitement for fans according to Parsons. The other side of that is the risk of oversaturation but it does seem like the only solution to the lack of competitiveness in Gaelic Football.

"There's going to be huge appetite to play those games."

Mayo legend Andy Moran to become Leitrim manager.

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