James Horan urges GAA not to rush into new football championship format

James Horan urges GAA not to rush into new football championship format

Mayo manager James Horan. Picture: INPHO/James Crombie

James Horan has urged caution regarding the new championship format that the majority of inter-county players favour, warning the GAA not to “rush into it”.

Fellow Mayo man and players chief Tom Parsons is pushing hard for a new league-based championship structure to be adopted ahead of Saturday’s Special Congress vote on the issue.

Parsons heads up the Gaelic Players Association (GPA) and says inter-county players badly want change though Mayo manager Horan isn’t convinced about the radical recommendation.

“Proposal B is getting great traction at the moment and our own county man, Tom Parsons, is putting a great shove behind that, doing a great job in his new role with the GPA,” said Horan.

“It’s an interesting one. I think Proposal B is solid but there are flaws in it. You can have guys battering away in Division 1 and a couple of them won’t get a crack at an All-Ireland (series game). The winners of Division 4 and Division 3 will, even though that’s a much different standard or level.”

If the players get their way and the recommendation is voted in, then the 2022 season will begin with the provincial competitions next February, followed by a new league-based championship. So Mayo’s very first competitive game of the year could be a Connacht clash with an old rival like Galway or Roscommon as they chase three provincial titles in a row.

“I’m not sure it’s the right proposal,” continued Horan. “That’s just my take on it. If things were left as is, I’d be okay with that. If there’s a slight tweak, I’d be okay with that too.

“But I’m not sure Proposal B is exactly... I don’t think we should rush into it, that’s where I’d be on it.”

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