Tipperary football manager David Power has echoed Fermanagh boss Ryan McMenamin’s assertion that the Tier 2 championship was badly thought out.
Power, whose Tipperary side are locked in a battle for Division 3 survival, is in favour of a second-tier championship, but does not believe involvement in such should be tied to either league status or reaching the final of an “outdated” provincial system.
Following Fermanagh’s Division 2 league defeat to Armagh last weekend, McMenamin launched a broadside at the creation of a Tier 2 competition.
“It was badly thought out. It was rushed. It is not going to help the smaller counties,” said the former Tyrone defender.
McMenamin also warned that counties involved in the Tailteann Cup would struggle to hold onto their players, believing a certain proportion will instead opt for a summer in America.
With league promotion to Division 2 out of Tipperary’s reach, the Premier footballers will need to secure a place in the Munster final to avoid ending up in the second-tier championship.
Division 3 and 4 counties eliminated from their respective provincial championship in early to mid-May face a five and six-week wait before the Tier 2 competition throws in, increasing the likelihood of players pulling out of their county set-up and jetting off for the summer.
They have to come up with something different to what’s there now to make sure they keep the players.
“There has to be proper incentives for Tier 2 participants. I know they are talking about playing the Tier 2 semis in Croke Park and, potentially, Tier 2 All-Stars, but where there is a lot of anger is that there are a lot of teams saying, ultimately, is there a big difference between number seven in Division 1 and the middle counties in Division 3? I don’t think there is.”
Power’s preference is for a complete overhaul of the current championship structure so to create a level playing field for each county.
As matters currently stand, Tipperary must win two matches to reach the Munster final and secure their place in the Sam Maguire Cup, whereas a raft of counties in Leinster will need to win three games to achieve a similar fate.
“There is room for a Tier 2, but we should be starting with a champions league format - eight groups of four - whereby seeding for that draw is based on league placings. Everyone gets three games, your top two then go to Sam Maguire and bottom two go into Tier 2.
“The provincial system is outdated. It’s not working.”