Wexford GAA have forwarded a motion whereby All Ireland champions from the previous 3 years would not be allowed to enter the qualifiers if they lose a game in their province. This is the stupidest idea I have heard when it comes to restructuring the championship and amounts to nothing more than punishing teams for winning the All Ireland.
Lets take the Munster football championship. Munster has 2 realistic All Ireland contenders every year. Under this motion proposed by Wexford this would mean Cork or Kerry not being allowed to defend the All Ireland should they win it and then lose to the other, or any other Munster team, in the following year’s provincial championship.
The idea is to try and put more emphasis back on the provincial championship, but winning an All Ireland should not mean having to win 3 in a row provincial championships just to be allowed a chance to compete in the All Ireland series. If it was applied to next years championship for example it would mean that should Dongeal, Dublin and Cork lose in their provincial championship, which is a possibility, then those 3 teams would not be allowed to enter the qualifiers, that would be it, season over and all because they had won an All Ireland within the last 3 years.
I agree that championship restructuring is something that needs to be looked at but punishing the All Ireland champions of the previous 3 years is not the way to do this.
Under this proposed motion it would have meant the following teams not having won All-Ireland’s if you apply it to previous seasons.
Galway in 2001 – All Ireland champions in 1998 and beaten by Roscommon in the Connacht championship.
Tyrone in 2005 – All Ireland champions in 2003 and beaten by Armagh in the Ulster championship.
Kerry in 2006 – All Ireland champions in 2004 and beaten by Cork in the Munster championship.
Kerry in 2009 – All Ireland champions in 2006 & 2007 and beaten by Cork in the Munster championship.
These are only examples of All Ireland winners. In the 3 years after their 2003 win Tyrone did not win a provincial championship which would, under this motion, have made them ineligible to compete in the qualifiers for 3 years. Hardly fair reward for winning an All Ireland.
I feel this is a motion being proposed by Wexford to try and stop Kilkenny winning hurling All Ireland’s. Kilkenny are usually All Ireland champions and will usually have at least one in a three year period. The result of this motion would mean any year they are beaten in Leinster that would be the end of their year, a convenient outcome of their motion. Wexford have complained in the past that relegation from the National Hurling League Division 1 was bad for “Wexford hurling” and that the GAA needs to do something about it. One solution might be not to get relegated. If you are relegated you are not good enough and have next year to get promoted if Division 1 is where you feel you belong. You cannot structure competition to reward everyone. Will the next motion from Wexford be that anyone who beats them is disqualified from the competition?!!
This is a motion that should not be passed and one would hope that common sense will prevail when Congress meet next March.