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Football Championship Restructuring Idea

  • 12-07-2016 1:50pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 9,800 ✭✭✭ Mr. Incognito


    I have seen a lot of threads and commentary advocating a split in the Football Championship into stonger and weaker counties.

    There are a number of county Boards who have already declared they would not play in such a format.

    The Difficulties of reform are as follows;

    1. Provincial Finals and History.
    2. Players are amateurs. An enlarged league style champtionship would be too much on volunteer platers.
    3. Entrenched positions of the County Boards
    4. The Revenue Stream from the extra matches for the GAA.

    Current System;
    The back-door has been, by any measure, a disaster. It gives the top teams a second chance and since it's introduction only Galway, Armagh, Tyrone, Kerry, Dublin, Donegal and Cork have won an All Ireland.
    6 Teams in 16 years.
    It was supposed to bring up the weaker counties but in fact has set them back further allowing the top teams to prepare to peak in August. In fact in a large number of years it has been won by teams through the back door.

    The Provincal Title has become devalued and worthless.

    Proposed Reform
    _____________________________________________


    It's very simple.

    Go back to the old system.

    Provincial Winners meet in the All Ireland Semi Finals. Then the Final.

    I'd call this the "A" Champtionship.

    As a team is beaten they drop down to the "B" Championship.

    This is played out on a draw system until there are four teams left who are drawn into a semi final and the all Ireland Final.

    The B Championship Could be played on a Saturday.

    It's akin to the Champions Leage and the Europa Leage.

    There would be much more reward then for the team that turns over the Kerry's and Tyrone in the Province because then they are simply out.

    Monaghan's famous victory in the opening game of the Ulster Championship against Armagh strings to mind.

    The reward of winning is players stay fresh and we don't get this attrition of players.

    The All Ireland winner each year will be a Provincial Champion and unbeaten.

    The B Championship will hold top quality teams each year also. This year Mayo would be in it with top ulster teams. The B Final would end up being a top quality final also.

    Thoughts??


«134

Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,298 ✭✭✭✭ Fr Tod Umptious


    It could be argued that the back door has been a success.

    Fermanagh one SF and two QFs.
    Wexford one SF
    Sligo at least one QF, maybe more
    Longford, multiple long runs in qualifiers.
    Limerick one QF, first time playing championship in CP in over a century.

    Every sport in the world has its haves and have nots.
    The back door was never going to level the playing field but it did what it was supposed to do, give teams a second game instead of being dumped out in May.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,749 ✭✭✭ Coillte_Bhoy


    I have seen a lot of threads and commentary advocating a split in the Football Championship into stonger and weaker counties.

    There are a number of county Boards who have already declared they would not play in such a format.

    The Difficulties of reform are as follows;

    1. Provincial Finals and History.
    2. Players are amateurs. An enlarged league style champtionship would be too much on volunteer platers.
    3. Entrenched positions of the County Boards
    4. The Revenue Stream from the extra matches for the GAA.

    Current System;
    The back-door has been, by any measure, a disaster. It gives the top teams a second chance and since it's introduction only Galway, Armagh, Tyrone, Kerry, Dublin, Donegal and Cork have won an All Ireland.
    6 Teams in 16 years.
    It was supposed to bring up the weaker counties but in fact has set them back further allowing the top teams to prepare to peak in August. In fact in a large number of years it has been won by teams through the back door.

    The Provincal Title has become devalued and worthless.

    Proposed Reform
    _____________________________________________


    It's very simple.

    Go back to the old system.

    Provincial Winners meet in the All Ireland Semi Finals. Then the Final.

    I'd call this the "A" Champtionship.

    As a team is beaten they drop down to the "B" Championship.

    This is played out on a draw system until there are four teams left who are drawn into a semi final and the all Ireland Final.

    The B Championship Could be played on a Saturday.

    It's akin to the Champions Leage and the Europa Leage.

    There would be much more reward then for the team that turns over the Kerry's and Tyrone in the Province because then they are simply out.

    Monaghan's famous victory in the opening game of the Ulster Championship against Armagh strings to mind.

    The reward of winning is players stay fresh and we don't get this attrition of players.

    The All Ireland winner each year will be a Provincial Champion and unbeaten.

    The B Championship will hold top quality teams each year also. This year Mayo would be in it with top ulster teams. The B Final would end up being a top quality final also.

    Thoughts??

    And we wouldnt give a **** about it tbh. I'm all for a B or Intermediate championship but have it for second tier teams from the start. There is not a major sport in the world that runs its main Championship like this where everyone is lumped in together regardless of ability. It's utter madness. Have two championships with promotion relegation each year.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,569 ✭✭✭✭ ProudDUB


    Not a fan of going back to the old system, where there are 12, 9, 6 & 5 counties taking part in the 4 provincial championships. That in itself is inherently flawed. It is not fair that Kerry only have to play one game to get to a provincial final, where a county in Leinster or Ulster has to play 3. The entire championship structure needs to be redrawn & the starting point should be that every county starts out at the same point.


  • Registered Users Posts: 19,797 ✭✭✭✭ PARlance


    The problem I would see with that is the B championship will have some very strong teams in it, the "weaker" teams won't have much of a hope of winning that either. And as mentioned, the stronger teams wouldn't care too much.

    What would I do.

    1.
    Get rid of the league. There are too many inter county games at present. Familiarity breeds bad football. Promote the Club game more.

    2.
    Play the Provincal Championships early in the year. Start early Feb, have it over and done with by end of March. No replays. The Provincal's have no bearing on the All Ireland but they're kept as there's a lot of History attached and still a big thing for most.

    3.
    Introduce a 2 tier format for the an A & B All Ireland. 16 teams in each section comprising of 4 groups of 4. (London & New York compete in Provincal's only)
    Play a league format, each team playing 3 games. The winner of each of the four groups go into the All Ireland semi final.
    That would mean 5 tough games / wins and a an All Ireland is yours. No replays, no draws in the league format.
    This is played over three months (11 weeks) in the summer, Jul, Aug & Sept.
    LG1, week off, LG2, week off, LG3, week off, week off, Semi, week off, week off, Final.
    League Games are staggered over the weekend ala the Heineken Cup... Friday night game, early & late games on the Saturday & Sunday.

    Plenty of other details to be worked out but that would be the general idea.
    Provincal's played in a 2 month block, Feb & March.
    A 3 Month break for Club football, April, May, June.
    The All Ireland's played over 3 months, July, August, Sept.
    Back to Club until Feb.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,749 ✭✭✭ Coillte_Bhoy


    ProudDUB wrote: »
    Not a fan of going back to the old system, where there are 12, 9, 6 & 5 counties taking part in the 4 provincial championships. That in itself is inherently flawed. It is not fair that Kerry only have to play one game to get to a provincial final, where a county in Leinster or Ulster has to play 3. The entire championship structure needs to be redrawn & the starting point should be that every county starts out at the same point.

    This. If they are going to persist with the provincial system then why not reorganise it and create 4 regions (4 x 8) with equal number of teams at least. Scrap the provinces altogether for all levels, there will still have to be regional councils etc so the blazers wont lose out


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  • Registered Users Posts: 7,749 ✭✭✭ Coillte_Bhoy


    PARlance wrote: »
    The problem I would see with that is the B championship will have some very strong teams in it, the "weaker" teams won't have much of a hope of winning that either. And as mentioned, the stronger teams wouldn't care too much.

    What would I do.

    1.
    Get rid of the league. There are too many inter county games at present. Familiarity breeds bad football. Promote the Club game more.

    2.
    Play the Provincal Championships early in the year. Start early Feb, have it over and done with by end of March. No replays. The Provincal's have no bearing on the All Ireland but they're kept as there's a lot of History attached and still a big thing for most.

    3.
    Introduce a 2 tier format for the an A & B All Ireland. 16 teams in each section comprising of 4 groups of 4. (London & New York compete in Provincal's only)
    Play a league format, each team playing 3 games. The winner of each of the four groups go into the All Ireland semi final.
    That would mean 5 tough games / wins and a an All Ireland is yours. No replays, no draws in the league format.
    This is played over three months (11 weeks) in the summer, Jul, Aug & Sept.
    LG1, week off, LG2, week off, LG3, week off, week off, Semi, week off, week off, Final.
    League Games are staggered over the weekend ala the Heineken Cup... Friday night game, early & late games on the Saturday & Sunday.


    Plenty of other details to be worked out but that would be the general idea.
    Provincal's played in a 2 month block, Feb & March.
    A 3 Month break for Club football, April, May, June.
    The All Ireland's played over 3 months, July, August, Sept.
    Back to Club until Feb.

    I would have the top two advancing to quarter finals and the bottom team in each group playing a promotion/relegation play off with the four B group winners. This way every game will be important, there will be no dead rubbers.


  • Registered Users Posts: 19,797 ✭✭✭✭ PARlance


    I would have the top two advancing to quarter finals and the bottom team in each group playing a promotion/relegation play off with the four B group winners. This way every game will be important, there will be no dead rubbers.

    I had that typed but I thought it might be too many games. But you're dead right, every game would count and that's they way to go.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,569 ✭✭✭✭ ProudDUB


    This. If they are going to persist with the provincial system then why not reorganise it and create 4 regions (4 x 8) with equal number of teams at least. Scrap the provinces altogether for all levels, there will still have to be regional councils etc so the blazers wont lose out

    That gets my vote too. Four geographic regions - north, south, east and west, with 8 counties per regions. The solution is there, plain as the nose on your face. The blazers are kept happy, as the majority of the traditional, money making rivalry games, would remain intact.

    I am not in favour of B championship, mainly because I think it would result in massive droves of players leaving the game. We have all heard about the 40 odd players not wanting to commit to intercounty football in Galway. If it is that bad in a relatively blue chip county like Galway, Lord knows how it could be else where. These days, training demands are incredibly intense. Managers demand year round monastic life styles, that are understandably hard to stomach for young lads who want to have a life, before they settle down with mortgages & families. Then there is the lure of foreign travel, that just wasn't there a generation ago.

    All of those things contribute hugely to lads opting out of inter county football. It will get even worse, if they are told, that at shot at a provincial trophy, or Sam Maguire (no matter how unrealistic it may seem,) is out and, they have to play in some "B" championship instead.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,059 ✭✭✭ timmyntc


    PARlance wrote: »
    1.
    Get rid of the league. There are too many inter county games at present. Familiarity breeds bad football. Promote the Club game more.

    I wholeheartedly disagree with that. There aren't enough inter-county games at present. A problem in weaker counties is that players are reluctant or straight up unwilling to commit to inter-county because they know they'll get few games that they have a chance of winning. Get rid of the league and they haven't a hope of winning any matches, they'll be continually hammered in their 2 championship games and that will be that.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 17,388 Jayop


    As a Tyrone man the back door has been good to us so I wouldn't be for getting rid of it to go straight to a straightforward two tier championship. It's helped us progress to a team that regularly has big days out in CP, many of them we wouldn't have had without it.

    The championship needs restructured, and the best way to do it is to separate the provincials from the AI series. It would retain the provincials which are the second most important trophies in football and would also make the main AI series a more fair balanced system.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 7,749 ✭✭✭ Coillte_Bhoy


    ProudDUB wrote: »
    That gets my vote too. Four geographic regions - north, south, east and west, with 8 counties per regions. The solution is there, plain as the nose on your face. The blazers are kept happy, as the majority of the traditional, money making rivalry games, would remain intact.

    I am not in favour of B championship, mainly because I think it would result in massive droves of players leaving the game. We have all heard about the 40 odd players not wanting to commit to intercounty football in Galway. If it is that bad in a relatively blue chip county like Galway, Lord knows how it could be else where. These days, training demands are incredibly intense. Managers demand year round monastic life styles, that are understandably hard to stomach for young lads who want to have a life, before they settle down with mortgages & families. Then there is the lure of foreign travel, that just wasn't there a generation ago.

    All of those things contribute hugely to lads opting out of inter county football. It will get even worse, if they are told, that at shot at a provincial trophy, or Sam Maguire (no matter how unrealistic it may seem,) is out and, they have to play in some "B" championship instead.

    Surely for some weaker counties a sexed up B championship would be an attractive proposition rather than the ritual hammerings in the chamionship as it is now


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 17,388 Jayop


    Surely for some weaker counties a sexed up B championship would be an attractive proposition rather than the ritual hammerings in the chamionship as it is now

    Would Longford or Clare sacrifice the wins they got in the back door this year for the chance to play in a B championship?


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,298 ✭✭✭✭ Fr Tod Umptious


    This. If they are going to persist with the provincial system then why not reorganise it and create 4 regions (4 x 8) with equal number of teams at least. Scrap the provinces altogether for all levels, there will still have to be regional councils etc so the blazers wont lose out

    I've been banging that drum around here for a while now.

    Each team starts at the same place, regional QF.

    You keep the same back door system but this time each team enters at the right place, no more preliminary winner being in the same Round 1 draw as the preliminary loser because they subsequently lost their provincial QF.

    It's the change that is the least radical also, for the most part counties stay in their old "provinces"
    Counties like Wicklow and Carlow can get back to the club championship and the harvest without playing round robin games they don't care about all summer.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,749 ✭✭✭ Coillte_Bhoy


    Jayop wrote: »
    Would Longford or Clare sacrifice the wins they got in the back door this year for the chance to play in a B championship?

    No but im looking at the bigger picture. There are far too many one sided ****e games in the current system, it looks crap on tv and is a pr mess. The NFL Div 1 is fare more entertaining and interesting than the early stages of the cship, that should not be the case.
    How come we do it at club level but not inter county?


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,569 ✭✭✭✭ ProudDUB


    Surely for some weaker counties a sexed up B championship would be an attractive proposition rather than the ritual hammerings in the chamionship as it is now

    Last year, Carlow were on the wrong end of an unmerciful hammering. The kind that makes headlines. So Off The Ball had the Carlow captain on to talk about it and, what could/should be done to stop results like that happening to them and, the other so called weaker counties. The prospect of a "B" championship was put to him. He said that it would result in a massive drop off in player interest & he included himself in that. It's hard to argue, when its coming from the horses mouth. It is easy enough for those of us from stronger counties to say what is best for the weaker ones, in principle and in theory. But when we hear directly from them, what the cold, hard reality would be, if they are demoted to a second tier, I think alarm bells should go off.

    GAA players are not professional athletes. There are no contracts. No one can be forced to play in a weaker division, or a lower tier competition, if they don't want to. Players can just walk away, whenever they want. So all the examples brought in from other professional sports, where teams have to earn the right to sit at the top table, are irrelevant imo. The GAA is unique.


  • Registered Users Posts: 19,797 ✭✭✭✭ PARlance


    timmyntc wrote: »
    I wholeheartedly disagree with that. There aren't enough inter-county games at present. A problem in weaker counties is that players are reluctant or straight up unwilling to commit to inter-county because they know they'll get few games that they have a chance of winning. Get rid of the league and they haven't a hope of winning any matches, they'll be continually hammered in their 2 championship games and that will be that.

    They would have there Provincial Championship early in the year. Some might only get a game or two.

    They they would be guaranteed 3 games in the All Ireland B league format against similar teams and then have a chance of a QF, SF and Final. The average weaker county would get about 5 or 6 games a year.

    But we've very different opinions. I think there are too many games and it's making a bit of a mockery of the Club game. I also think that players for weaker teams would be more likely to commit to their Counties if they knew it was confined to a shorter period/less games each year.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 17,388 Jayop


    No but im looking at the bigger picture. There are far too many one sided ****e games in the current system, it looks crap on tv and is a pr mess. The NFL Div 1 is fare more entertaining and interesting than the early stages of the cship, that should not be the case.
    How come we do it at club level but not inter county?

    I get what you're saying and I would be in favour of peeling off to a tier two championship at some stage, but for me the way to do it is after a 4 team round robin where the Longford's and Clare's will get a chance to get their scalp.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,749 ✭✭✭ Coillte_Bhoy


    ProudDUB wrote: »
    Last year, Carlow were on the wrong end of an unmerciful hammering. The kind that makes headlines. So Off The Ball had the Carlow captain on to talk about it and, what could/should be done to stop results like that happening to them and the other so called weaker counties. The prospect of a "B" championship was put to him. He said that it would result in a massive drop off in player interest & he included himself in that. It's hard to argue, when its coming from the horses mouth.

    There may be an initial drop off but if it's promoted properly and put on a par with the A cship in terms of tv coverage, marketing etc i think attitudes will change over time and with my proposal there is a real incentive to do well as 4 teams will get the chance to play off for a place in the following years A (Or scrap the play offs and have straight relegation/promotion). Looking at the bigger picture the GAA needs to do something, the cship structure is a joke and while it may have served its purpose in the past it's not fit for purpose now. Just think of a cship run on a league basis, the top teams in the country playing each other over a period of a few weeks in the height of summer and the spin off in terms of media exposure. The GAA cships as they stand outside the big counties are not attractive to potential young fans of the future.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,749 ✭✭✭ Coillte_Bhoy


    Jayop wrote: »
    I get what you're saying and I would be in favour of peeling off to a tier two championship at some stage, but for me the way to do it is after a 4 team round robin where the Longford's and Clare's will get a chance to get their scalp.

    Ya well thats certainly a valid option too.


  • Registered Users Posts: 19,797 ✭✭✭✭ PARlance


    ProudDUB wrote: »
    Last year, Carlow were on the wrong end of an unmerciful hammering. The kind that makes headlines. So Off The Ball had the Carlow captain on to talk about it and, what could/should be done to stop results like that happening to them and, the other so called weaker counties. The prospect of a "B" championship was put to him. He said that it would result in a massive drop off in player interest & he included himself in that. It's hard to argue, when its coming from the horses mouth. It is easy enough for those of us from stronger counties to say what is best for the weaker ones, in principle and in theory. But when we hear directly from them, what the cold, hard reality would be, if they are demoted to a second tier, I think alarm bells should go off.

    That's all well and good but it hasn't exactly done Carlow any favours. And for every Carlow captain, how many others are saying sod that, I'm not dedicating 2-3 months of serious training only to go out and get a hammering.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 17,388 Jayop


    PARlance wrote: »
    That's all well and good but it hasn't exactly done Carlow any favours. And for every Carlow captain, how many others are saying sod that, I'm not dedicating 2-3 months of serious training only to go out and get a hammering.

    Is players turning their county down the problem we are led to believe it is?

    I know that with Galway in particular a load of players said no, but it could be an interesting thread in it's own right.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,749 ✭✭✭ Coillte_Bhoy


    ProudDUB wrote: »
    Last year, Carlow were on the wrong end of an unmerciful hammering. The kind that makes headlines. So Off The Ball had the Carlow captain on to talk about it and, what could/should be done to stop results like that happening to them and, the other so called weaker counties. The prospect of a "B" championship was put to him. He said that it would result in a massive drop off in player interest & he included himself in that. It's hard to argue, when its coming from the horses mouth. It is easy enough for those of us from stronger counties to say what is best for the weaker ones, in principle and in theory. But when we hear directly from them, what the cold, hard reality would be, if they are demoted to a second tier, I think alarm bells should go off.

    Yes it is easy for us but maybe long term we are right?
    ProudDUB wrote: »
    GAA players are not professional athletes. There are no contracts. No one can be forced to play in a weaker division, or a lower tier competition, if they don't want to. Players can just walk away, whenever they want. So all the examples brought in from other professional sports, where teams have to earn the right to sit at the top table, are irrelevant imo. The GAA is unique.

    Of course they can be forced down a division, it happens in every sport including GAA for gods sake. I didnt specifically mention professional sports, i said major sports. But the GAA are now in a market where they are competing with professional sports so their marquee cship should reflect that.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,004 ✭✭✭ piplip87


    Play the provincial games in January. With the finalists now seeded for the Championship.

    In February March April and May get the club fixtures played. This carry on of club leagues finishing Christmas week has to end.

    In June have an open draw. 8 groups of 4 teams (let New York and London play off for a place in the championship proper).

    Each team plays each other once over the month of June..

    Top two in each group qualify for the next round.

    Bottom two then go off into a second tier championship.

    The fact that provincial finalists do not meet until the second round really means the provincial championships will still have meaning.

    It means less games with the league now gone but who wouldn't want to see Dublin VS Tyrone in a group game in July ?

    It would really add excitment to it once more and mean that the weaker counties can still progress after a hammering.

    The whole thing could them be played out by mid August.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,749 ✭✭✭ Coillte_Bhoy


    piplip87 wrote: »
    Play the provincial games in January. With the finalists now seeded for the Championship.

    In February March April and May get the club fixtures played. This carry on of club leagues finishing Christmas week has to end.

    In June have an open draw. 8 groups of 4 teams (let New York and London play off for a place in the championship proper).

    Each team plays each other once over the month of June..

    Top two in each group qualify for the next round.

    Bottom two then go off into a second tier championship.

    The fact that provincial finalists do not meet until the second round really means the provincial championships will still have meaning.

    It means less games with the league now gone but who wouldn't want to see Dublin VS Tyrone in a group game in July ?

    It would really add excitment to it once more and mean that the weaker counties can still progress after a hammering.

    The whole thing could them be played out by mid August.

    So no club games during the summer? :confused:


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,602 ✭✭✭ patmac


    Divide Dublin into 4 north, south, east and west, no matter what way you re-structure the football championship there only going to get stronger.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,004 ✭✭✭ piplip87


    So no club games during the summer? :confused:

    I know but if the championship is to be restructured with a group style draw the club games will have to be played early in the year or start in August IMO.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,569 ✭✭✭✭ ProudDUB


    There may be an initial drop off but if it's promoted properly and put on a par with the A cship in terms of tv coverage, marketing etc i think attitudes will change over time and with my proposal there is a real incentive to do well as 4 teams will get the chance to play off for a place in the following years A (Or scrap the play offs and have straight relegation/promotion).

    The GAA does a piss poor job of marketing the competitions that it already has. The ones that there is already a lot of interest in. Am not holding my breath, that the suits in HQ are going to turn into marketing whizz kids any time soon & do a great job promoting a competition that no one cares about.
    Yes it is easy for us but maybe long term we are right?

    Of course they can be forced down a division, it happens in every sport including GAA for gods sake. I didnt specifically mention professional sports, i said major sports. But the GAA are now in a market where they are competing with professional sports so their marquee cship should reflect that.

    I didn't mean that counties can't be forced down a division. That already happens with relegated counties in the league. I'm talking about forcing players to commit to playing for their county. You can't do that, as there are no professional contracts. If Man U got relegated out of the Premiership next year, their players have no choice but to show up and play in the lower division. Their contracts dictate it. They can't just say 'eff it' and walk away. GAA players can. Which is why I think we should be very careful in making changes that could result in that, on a massive scale. There is not much point in having a bright and shiny new toy for the GAA to play with, if all the lads expected to play with it, have headed off to Boston for the summer.

    I'm all for change....restructuring of the entire inter county season, more games, less training, less power in the hands of journeymen managers, more club games in the summer, (it works a treat for KK & keeps their players sharp all summer, God only knows why more counties don't follow Cody's example,) a 4x8 regional system, badly run county boards getting more help from HQ to get their house in order, more funding for weaker counties... the list is endless. What isn't on the list, is kicking half the country out of the All Ireland series, before it even starts.


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,700 ✭✭✭✭ keane2097


    I don't know why we have to keep having discussions about this. Sean Kelly/Jim McGuinness solved it. That format is perfect.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,800 ✭✭✭ Mr. Incognito


    Any proposal to start counties in a reduced league will not get through Congress.

    The format I propose everyone starts in the A Championship until you are beaten.

    Then once the provinces are played out the losers go to the B championship.

    There will only be 4 teams in the A championship after the provinces.

    28 teams in the B.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 13,298 ✭✭✭✭ Fr Tod Umptious


    Any proposal to start counties in a reduced league will not get through Congress.

    The format I propose everyone starts in the A Championship until you are beaten.

    Then once the provinces are played out the losers go to the B championship.

    There will only be 4 teams in the A championship after the provinces.

    28 teams in the B.

    But the B would have zero value.


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