How long can a county go without a trophy? For some Gaelic Football counties that answer seems to be – forever. I am mystified why Gaelic Football counties will not accept a two-tier championship.
Lets be clear on this – some teams have zero chance of winning an All Ireland (sshh you Leicester City fans). How do they cajole themselves to train for months to face the Championship season? Players aren’t fools, they know the reality.
Stark Reality 1
Of the 33 teams entering the All Ireland Football Senior Championship
- 17 haven’t played in an All Ireland final in over 60 years
- 8 of those have never played in an All Ireland Final.
Stark Reality 2
- 16 of the 33 teams entering the All Ireland Championship have not faced an All Ireland Semi-Final in the past 20 years.
- 6 of the 33 teams have only had a single Semi-Final out in the past 20 years.
Stark Reality 3
12 of the teams in the All Ireland Championship haven’t won a Provincial Title in 48 years, 4 of these have never won one.
Two-Tier Approach – Why Not?
Every county enters their team into the current system. They pay a fortune preparing the team to compete. Yet those same counties all operate club championships that are tiered! When it comes to Inter-County they’d rather face 130 seasons of losing than start a season with a chance of winning or even competing.
Winning Lower Tier competitions can be fun! Just ask Joe Brolly’s twitter!
Inter-County could easily be treated like Club, allow for promotion/relegation. Scrap the imbalance, allow for competition. I’m sure there are 100’s of inter-county footballers who would prefer this. The league has now become the premier event for many counties as it offers them a fair challenge with a serious chance of success.
Pride vs Reality
It takes a few years for tradition to take hold but eventually teams will build a history of competition in the two tiers. Nobody likes to be a second-rate citizen but the charade is sapping the enjoyment of football for many counties. Imagine your county facing a semi-final that is winnable and meaningful? That is only a reality for the top teams.
If your county is “above” a second tier then go prove it, win the Tier 2 competition, go on and compete in the top Tier. Back up your belief.
130 more years?
Paraic Duffy has created a super-8 championship plan. I wonder who that benefits? It’s a two-tier championship at present, that is evident and Mr Duffy is rubber-stamping that. Only the current two tiers have no enjoyment for the second tier teams.