By Peter McNamara
Idle talk concerning the structures of the provincial and All-Ireland football championships has to end and realistic solutions implemented says Waterford manager Tom McGlinchey.
The Cork native agreed with
Additionally, McGlinchey says he would be in favour of a two-tiered All-Ireland series.
However, he is adamant that such a experiment will only be fruitful for those involved in the second-tier if they are afforded similar rewards for their efforts to those in the Sam Maguire hunt.
In fact, McGlinchey reckons the All-Ireland ‘B’ final would have to be played as the curtain-raiser to the primary decider thus shifting the minor showpiece out of Croke Park on that particular occasion.
“What Seán (Kelly) wrote makes a lot of sense,” McGlinchey explained. “Yet, for his proposals, or those similar to that of Jim McGuinness to work, the players competing for the second-tier All-Ireland title deserve to be kept front and centre throughout the summer.
“Seán referenced the Christy Ring and Lory Meagher Cups as examples of how lower-tier competitions can be of benefit to counties.
“What I would say is those counties, like Kerry and Roscommon who had very good years, are now in limbo again without competitive action while the Liam MacCarthy Cup race really kicks into gear in the coming weeks.
“That sort of occurrence needs to be avoided if the idea of an All-Ireland ‘B’ football championship is explored.”
McGlinchey put forward the example of the running of both the Cork PIFC and SFC finals as part of a massive occasion as evidence that playing the ‘A’ and ‘B’ deciders at inter-county level can work.
“Just look at how great an occasion the Cork County Championship finals days have become with the premier intermediate game preceding the senior match.
“Working off a similar hymn sheet at inter-county level would be welcomed.
“Of course, traditionalists, and I am one of those myself, may cry foul on breaking up the minor-senior arrangement on All-Ireland final-day.
“If we are truly going to improve the situation though, there has to be a tangible carrot such as performing on the biggest day of the inter-county calendar for the players,” McGlinchey stressed.
The Déise supremo also said the top brass at headquarters can do more to move the situation forward from “idle talk to the solutions’ phase”.
“The GAA do amazing work, we all know that, but they need to do even more in relation to finding a balance within the inter-county sphere.
“And this issue cannot be pushed under the rug anymore, either,” he added.