Although Cork and Tipperary have signalled opposition to the idea of round-robin stages replacing the All-Ireland quarter-finals, Kerry, who have reached the last eight since they were introduced in 2001, are backing the idea of extra games at that stage of the championship.
“We’d be positive towards them,” said chairman Patrick O’Sullivan. “The more games, the better it is as far as we judged it. An extra game in Killarney too would be great.”
O’Sullivan was referring to the guaranteed home game in the proposed round-robin group, with counties’ other two matches coming at an away venue and Croke Park.
As county chairmen are presented with the finalised Duffy document this Saturday, Limerick would also appear to be favourable towards the original blueprint. County football chief John Cregan says the most appealing aspect of Duffy’s plan is the idea of extra income earned from extra games ring-fenced for developing football counties.
Cregan is also backing Duffy’s hopes of condensing the football championship. “I’d be keeping an open mind. I would be in support of getting better treatment for club players. I’m involved in my club (Dromcollogher-Broadford) and the county board with fixtures and there has to be more certainty given to clubs. It’s evident from the document that there is a determination to do that.”
According to Duffy’s paper, “a significant proportion” of the increase in commercial and broadcast income from the All-Ireland SFC would be retained “for development of our games in less successful counties”. “What’s attractive to us is the sizeable amount of money for weaker counties that would be put aside from the additional income generated by the round-robin matches,” said Cregan.
GAA president Aogán Ó Fearghail urged counties to reserve judgement but Cork and Tipperary appear to be firmly against the proposals.