Colm Collins calls for trial abolition of provincials

Clare’s Colm Collins has lashed GAA proposals to introduce an All-Ireland B football competition and called for the abolition of the provincial championships on a trial basis.

Collins is furious at the GAA’s proposals that teams competing in Division 4 next year will be excluded from the All-Ireland SFC qualifiers — and play in a B championship instead.

“I don’t think that’s going to go through, they may as well decide that they’re going to pay every player €100,000.

“It’s the same thing, this is just fantasy land. If it is going to go through, it’s not going to be cooperated with so it’s a complete waste of energy.

“What’s annoying about it is that after all the consultation, if this is the best they could come up with, it’s pretty sad.”

And Collins insisted a Champions League style championship format is the way to go — with the previous year’s All-Ireland quarter-finalists installed as top seeds in each of the eight groups.

“My view is quite simple — we should do away with the provincials for a couple of years and see. The top two in the group play for the Sam Maguire and then you have the bottom two in a separate competition — two competitions of 16 teams. I would only seed eight teams, I wouldn’t be giving any protection for anybody down the road.

“Seed eight and let everybody else fight their corner after that. Straight up and fair — it’s crying out for that.”

Collins believes that the current championship structures are stale and that watching the 2016 draw was like “watching paint dry”.

“To say the provincials are sacrosanct is rubbish. If you want any meaningful change, you’ve got to bite the bullet. Eventually, somebody’s going to wake up.

“I’ll never forget the anti-climax there was the night of the championship draws. It was like watching paint dry.”

Collins is also unhappy that the GPA proposals put forward were ignored by Croke Park.

“They won’t listen but what’s it going to take? Is it going to take people not going to matches? I don’t see the problem here if you divide up the pot with the provincial councils in the same way.

“It would give a real buzz to the championship. While I’m on the soapbox, the other joke is the absolute madness, insanity of having to name 26 players on a Wednesday night.

“We had a situation where two players (on Sunday) were sick and we had, in effect, 24 players. Whose brainwave this was I don’t know, but it’s absolutely brain-dead.

“Some team is going to go out and get food poisoning or something like that and you can’t replace any player? We had a situation on Wednesday night where two fellas got knocks, we had to rule them out and on Friday night, they were able to train. It’s ridiculous. All the things that are going on and this is the best they can come up with? It’s cat, isn’t it?”


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