Mayo have become the latest county to confirm they will vote against the league-based football championship, with Galway and Derry also indicating their opposition yesterday.
The Mayo county board confirmed this morning that clubs in the county had mandated their delegates to vote against both proposed championship structure changes — Motion 18 and Motion 19 — at this weekend's congress.
Yesterday, Carlow declared their support for Proposal B
In a lengthy blog post, O’Brien, who oversaw Carlow’s League promotion to Division 3 in 2018, said Proposal B is “going to do more harm than good for inter-county football. “There is an alphabet soup of better proposals that could be put forward before this ‘dog’s dinner’ of a solution,” he wrote.
“Imagine designing a competition that rewards the 26th and 27th placed teams above the 6th and 7th placed teams. How is that acceptable? Any serious analysis of this proposal will show how poor it actually is. This is change for change’s sake.”
Galway and Derry opposition to the league as championship proposal doubled to four the number of counties who have confirmed they will vote against Proposal B at Special Congress. Armagh and Fermanagh, on Wednesday night, were the first counties into the ‘against’ column.
Galway concerns centre on the sixth-placed team in Division 1 not progressing to the All-Ireland series and the condensed nature of the league-based championship for counties who progress as far as the All-Ireland semi-final (10 games in 13 weeks). The county has four votes at Special Congress, but their Central Council delegate will also vote against Proposal B.
The league-based championship proposal requires 60% backing for it to be passed.
Unconfirmed reports point to Mayo also voting against Proposal B. The remaining three counties in Connacht — Leitrim, Sligo, and Roscommon — are supporting the proposal.
Elsewhere around the provinces, Cork, Clare, Tipperary, Down, Kildare, Longford, Louth, Meath, Offaly, Westmeath, and Wexford are backing Proposal B, as are Warwickshire.
These official declarations of support, along with the GPA’s one vote, puts Proposal B on 44 votes at present. And given there are 183 delegates eligible to vote, that means support for Proposal B is currently at 24%.
Of course, if the Central Council delegates belonging to the 15 counties in favour of Proposal B vote in line with their county, that then shoves Proposal B to 59 votes and 32% support.
It is looking increasingly likely that the international units will hold the balance of power. The 14 overseas units carry 34 votes between them.
The two proposals to reform the football championship are among 10 motions that will be debated and voted on at Croke Park.
The voting power of each GAA unit represented at Congress is being dealt with in a motion put forward by Central Council/International workgroup, which, if passed, will reduce the number of votes afforded to the GAA’s overseas bodies.
What is being proposed is that counties who don’t participate in the previous year’s senior inter-county championships will be limited to a maximum of five votes at annual Congress. This compares to a maximum of 10 votes for counties who do field in either the hurling or football championship. The number of votes a county has at Congress is determined by the number of registered clubs in that county.
Another motion from Central Council/International workgroup seeks to replace the current system regarding Irish-based GAA players playing abroad. Inter-county players, under this motion, won’t be eligible to receive a licence to play abroad until their county has been eliminated from that year’s championship. For club players who receive a licence to play abroad, they cannot play for their native club for the period of the license granted.
One further motion of note is the proposal for the development officer role in each county board to be replaced with a planning and training officer. Cork decided earlier this week to oppose this motion.
“The current development officer role is more advantageous to our association and should not be altered. This motion is unnecessary,” said Cork county board vice-chairman Pat Horgan.