Fermanagh's Pete McGrath lashes out at GAA championship proposals

McGrath believes the restructured format of the competition will dilute the competition even furhter

Pete McGrath, Fermanagh, GAA,

Image: ©INPHO/Ken Sutton

Would you believe, nay, can you credit that a county manager believes that changes made by the GAA are not the right ones?

The changes to the Championship structure proposed would see eight extra games played at the quarter-final stages, where the four provincial winners will join the four qualifiers in two round-robin groups.

The additional games are intended to provide more quality fixtures for fans, as well as giving a chance for some of the teams who traditionally play in the lower divisions to absorb a defeat at the quarter-final stage and still progress.

However, Fermanagh's Pete McGrath, who were knocked out in controversial circumstances against Mayo, isn't a big fan of the proposals, dubbing it a "mixed-up competition" that goes from knockout to round robin and then back again.

Speaking at the Feile an Phobaill GAA Talk Night as part of a panel that also included Pauric Duffy, McGrath said that the changes will actually make it easier for the big teams to progress.

"With the group of four in the quarter-final stage, the prospect of a team like Tipperary getting to a semi-final, or Fermanagh, or Antrim is obliterated. Tipperary might catch Galway on a given day or Fermanagh might catch Dublin on a given day, but not in a round robin."

"I think the whole formula is an attempt to keep the top teams in the competition for longer," surmised the former Down manager.

Noting that the current set-up doesn't seem to work all that well either, McGrath felt that the round robin format weakened the competition:

"It used to be the case that the team who won the All-Ireland was unbeaten," said McGrath, "now a team could lose two games and win it, so I think the Championship is being diluted and this round robin will dilute it further."

Via HoganStand