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"Overwhelming support" among players for Option B ahead of Special Congress

The vast majority of inter-county players are in favour of changing the structure of the All-Irel...



Football

"Overwhelming support" among players for Option B ahead of Special Congress

The vast majority of inter-county players are in favour of changing the structure of the All-Ireland Football Championship. 

Delegates will be asked to vote on two proposals from the GAA's national fixtures calendar review committee at this month's Special Congress.

Discussions have been taking place among football panels in the last month and OTB Sports understands that strong support for reform of the format has been expressed by players.

Option A would see the provincial championships retained with four groups and games on a round-robin basis. The winner of each group would advance to the All-Ireland Senior quarter-finals with the bottom side dropping into the Tailteann Cup, if they are a Division Three or Four League team.

While the teams in second and third place would advance to the qualifier series with places up for grabs in the quarter-finals.

Clare's Podge Collins is among the players to publicly back Option B, which would see the Football Championship played on a league format in the summer with the provincials played off as a standalone competition in the spring.

Five Division One teams, the top three in Division Two and the winners of third and fourth flights would advance directly to the All-Ireland series while Division Three and Four teams who don't qualify would play in the Tailteann Cup.

OTB Sports understands that there's overwhelming support among players for Option B after "intensive consultation" about the proposals in recent weeks.

Those who are in favour of Option B feel that it's the best structure to allow teams and players to develop.

Should neither proposal receive the required 60% backing of delegates then the Super 8s would return for a final year next season but most players don't see maintaining the status quo as an option.

The GPA are now expected to ask their members to lobby their county boards to vote in the favour of Option B, while the players body are also set to comment after their executive meeting next week.

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