National Forum

Should There Be A Back Door For Football?

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Replying To foreveryoung:  "Scrap the provincials. Hanging onto them for nostalgia or whatever other reason is balderdash. With modern transport teams and supporters can travel anywhere in the country quite easily (even Kerry fans can make it Croke Park), so the days of having to play neighboring counties becoz a bicycle was all supporters had to go to the game are long, long gone. It tells a lot about a competition when people do not even know the name of the trophy that's being played for.

So RoyalDunne, without looking it up, what's the name of the trophy that the Dubs have won 10 times in a row in
Leinster for senior inter-county football?"
A ridiculous post from someone who obviously doesn't know the merits of having a provincial championship which was pointed out and somewhat agreed by RoyalDunne who quite clearly knows what he is talking about......

ForeverBlue2 (Cavan) - Posts: 286 - 16/04/2021 14:32:00    2337399

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Replying To foreveryoung:  "Scrap the provincials. Hanging onto them for nostalgia or whatever other reason is balderdash. With modern transport teams and supporters can travel anywhere in the country quite easily (even Kerry fans can make it Croke Park), so the days of having to play neighboring counties becoz a bicycle was all supporters had to go to the game are long, long gone. It tells a lot about a competition when people do not even know the name of the trophy that's being played for.

So RoyalDunne, without looking it up, what's the name of the trophy that the Dubs have won 10 times in a row in
Leinster for senior inter-county football?"
I think the GAA needs to realise that it is catering for 31 counties in the main and not just for 5 or 6 teams. If the GAA persist and don't learn from hurling, we will end up with a championship with 5-6 teams and the rest will be consigned to competitions that no one has any interest in. Don't get me wrong, hurling is super game to watch but it is confined to 8 elite counties, with the rest forgotten about and I personally don't want football to end up like hurling. Scrapping the provincial championships seems to be top of everyone list but for some counties, the provincial is there only realistic hopes of winning anything outside the league. Take Tipperary and Cavan last year, do you meant to tell me that winning a provincial championship doesn't mean anything to Tipperary or Cavan? It may mean little or nothing to Dublin as they are nearly always odds on to win the All Ireland every year but for counties that can't win or never win the All Ireland, the provincial offers a chance to win some silverware. I think they should forget these B competitions, their super 8s and instead try and come up with a format that incorporates the provincial championship and all ireland series. Keep the leagues a separate competition. As a compromise, they could trial a competition where provincial championship are incorporated on a bi-annual basis, for example, Leinster and Munster together, Ulster and Connaught together - with the top 4 in each conference, progressing to the All Ireland quarter finals. The following year, pair Leinster with Connaught and Ulster pair with Munster. With a trophy for each conference.

wicklowsupport (Wicklow) - Posts: 1416 - 16/04/2021 14:40:36    2337401

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Replying To royaldunne:  "I see what you saying and don't disagree with the merits. That been said the so called weaker counties of Westmeath Laois, Offaly, Louth, Longford etc haven't a hope of winning any silverware and having their championship season end very abruptly due to the province they are in. Even the two other counties who would be considered strong and could easily be competitive in other provinces (Kildare and my own Meath) haven't a realistic chance of winning Leinster unless there's a huge upset, so while there is benefit for 3 provinces there is not for 10 counties in Leinster, I'd be happy to keep the provincials IF, they were ran as a stand alone competition with perhaps the winners of each province getting a bye in first round of a open draw."
I think there's a big problem with how much the Provincials have hurt Leinster football.

The advent of the back door kind of hurt things further for them.

You've Dublin way out ahead. If you're on Dublin's side of the draw you're going to need to win 3 qualifier rounds to get to the quarterfinals.

7 of the 10 Leinster teams start in qualifiers round 4. It's really hard for some Leinster counties to envision having a season where they're going to make any sort of mark. It must hurt engagement.

I've felt a seeding system based on a combined league and championship performance could be interesting for the football.

8 teams get a bye to the last 16, 4 Provincial champions plus 4 others from league.

16 teams get a bye to the last 16, 8 Provincial finalists plus 8 others from league.

16 teams play in All Ireland round 1 to be played at the same time as Provincial finals. 16 lowest ranked non-Provincial finalists.

You get Provincials still connected to championship. League counts for more.

Last 16 stage is achievable and would be a high profile round to qualify for. Weaker teams will have to have earned the right to play the big boys in that round.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 3579 - 16/04/2021 14:59:10    2337404

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Replying To Whammo86:  "I think there's a big problem with how much the Provincials have hurt Leinster football.

The advent of the back door kind of hurt things further for them.

You've Dublin way out ahead. If you're on Dublin's side of the draw you're going to need to win 3 qualifier rounds to get to the quarterfinals.

7 of the 10 Leinster teams start in qualifiers round 4. It's really hard for some Leinster counties to envision having a season where they're going to make any sort of mark. It must hurt engagement.

I've felt a seeding system based on a combined league and championship performance could be interesting for the football.

8 teams get a bye to the last 16, 4 Provincial champions plus 4 others from league.

16 teams get a bye to the last 16, 8 Provincial finalists plus 8 others from league.

16 teams play in All Ireland round 1 to be played at the same time as Provincial finals. 16 lowest ranked non-Provincial finalists.

You get Provincials still connected to championship. League counts for more.

Last 16 stage is achievable and would be a high profile round to qualify for. Weaker teams will have to have earned the right to play the big boys in that round."
I could see that drawing wide support - don't see strong arguments against it - maybe have your club sponsor it ?

A few typos, I think - a) 7 of 10 (or 11?) start in Qual Rd 1; and b) 16 byes to Last 24 (prior to 8 Rd 1 winners).

omahant (USA) - Posts: 2115 - 16/04/2021 16:10:05    2337417

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Replying To omahant:  "I could see that drawing wide support - don't see strong arguments against it - maybe have your club sponsor it ?

A few typos, I think - a) 7 of 10 (or 11?) start in Qual Rd 1; and b) 16 byes to Last 24 (prior to 8 Rd 1 winners)."
I meant 7 of 10 of the Leinster qualifiers entrants.

Yeah meant 16 byes to the last 24.

If you want a knockout focused championship but more fair I kind of think this is a strong solution.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 3579 - 16/04/2021 17:38:11    2337425

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Replying To omahant:  "I could see that drawing wide support - don't see strong arguments against it - maybe have your club sponsor it ?

A few typos, I think - a) 7 of 10 (or 11?) start in Qual Rd 1; and b) 16 byes to Last 24 (prior to 8 Rd 1 winners)."
It's something of a halfway house between the current qualifiers and the Jim McGuinness proposal.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 3579 - 16/04/2021 17:40:35    2337427

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Replying To foreveryoung:  "Scrap the provincials. Hanging onto them for nostalgia or whatever other reason is balderdash. With modern transport teams and supporters can travel anywhere in the country quite easily (even Kerry fans can make it Croke Park), so the days of having to play neighboring counties becoz a bicycle was all supporters had to go to the game are long, long gone. It tells a lot about a competition when people do not even know the name of the trophy that's being played for.

So RoyalDunne, without looking it up, what's the name of the trophy that the Dubs have won 10 times in a row in
Leinster for senior inter-county football?"
Delaney cup. I'm of a old vintage.

royaldunne (Meath) - Posts: 17787 - 16/04/2021 17:48:39    2337429

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Replying To Whammo86:  "I think there's a big problem with how much the Provincials have hurt Leinster football.

The advent of the back door kind of hurt things further for them.

You've Dublin way out ahead. If you're on Dublin's side of the draw you're going to need to win 3 qualifier rounds to get to the quarterfinals.

7 of the 10 Leinster teams start in qualifiers round 4. It's really hard for some Leinster counties to envision having a season where they're going to make any sort of mark. It must hurt engagement.

I've felt a seeding system based on a combined league and championship performance could be interesting for the football.

8 teams get a bye to the last 16, 4 Provincial champions plus 4 others from league.

16 teams get a bye to the last 16, 8 Provincial finalists plus 8 others from league.

16 teams play in All Ireland round 1 to be played at the same time as Provincial finals. 16 lowest ranked non-Provincial finalists.

You get Provincials still connected to championship. League counts for more.

Last 16 stage is achievable and would be a high profile round to qualify for. Weaker teams will have to have earned the right to play the big boys in that round."
All very fair and valid points.

royaldunne (Meath) - Posts: 17787 - 16/04/2021 17:59:17    2337430

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Ok many years ago a idea was floated around here, it got ridiculed by many, and I must say at the time I didn't see the merit to it (perhaps I was naive, or not wanting to accept what was happening) however I can admit when I am wrong and on the following idea, I was wrong and my position has changed.
The proposal? To move Dublin around the 4 provinces. So you have a Leinster metropolitan championship year 1, a ulster metropolitan year 2, a Connacht metropolitan year 3 and a munster metropolitan year 4, and so on. Other provinces get the benefit of dubs traveling to their venues and playing in croke park before quarters etc. And in turn give a massive boost to provincials particularly in Leinster.
As I said I was against this before, but drastic times calls for drastic measures.
Football apart from the league is dying in Leinster that's a fact. Even the most diehard supporters couldn't care about the upcoming draws, they are still interested in leagues, so there is still hope. But gaa must be prepared to make changes or it will end, quicker than most people think too.

royaldunne (Meath) - Posts: 17787 - 16/04/2021 18:10:49    2337432

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Replying To royaldunne:  "Ok many years ago a idea was floated around here, it got ridiculed by many, and I must say at the time I didn't see the merit to it (perhaps I was naive, or not wanting to accept what was happening) however I can admit when I am wrong and on the following idea, I was wrong and my position has changed.
The proposal? To move Dublin around the 4 provinces. So you have a Leinster metropolitan championship year 1, a ulster metropolitan year 2, a Connacht metropolitan year 3 and a munster metropolitan year 4, and so on. Other provinces get the benefit of dubs traveling to their venues and playing in croke park before quarters etc. And in turn give a massive boost to provincials particularly in Leinster.
As I said I was against this before, but drastic times calls for drastic measures.
Football apart from the league is dying in Leinster that's a fact. Even the most diehard supporters couldn't care about the upcoming draws, they are still interested in leagues, so there is still hope. But gaa must be prepared to make changes or it will end, quicker than most people think too."
I don't really like this idea. You're own county man JackGoff pushed this.

I just think you'd have a Leinster championship with an asterisk around it 3/4 years.

Ways of lessening the Provincials impact on the All Ireland is the way forward.

You'd hope the Meath's and Kildare's of this world would still pick up more provincial titles that the Tipp, Clare's, Derry's, Sligos will pick up. Yes you'll win fewer Provincials than teams of the same level as you will win but the ones you do win will be more meaningful. I don't know I really dislike it and I do have a lot of sympathy for Leinster counties and their prospects under the status quo.

Something needs to change but for me that isn't it.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 3579 - 16/04/2021 19:33:46    2337445

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Replying To royaldunne:  "Delaney cup. I'm of a old vintage."
Indeed! And who was Delaney, tell me?

foreveryoung (USA) - Posts: 699 - 16/04/2021 20:10:33    2337449

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Replying To Tirchonaill1:  "Just a comment on Tyrone I can't see how anyone thinks they are going backwards, under new management and if they have a full panel mostly injury free they will be a tough test for anyone, might even be the team to finally stop Dublin this year, Tyrone Kerry semi final would be some game if they are both hitting form.
Ulster draw will be vital for us to avoid them in the first round at least this time.
I'd rather we were going into Championship with a back door in place, I couldn't care about the league, we'll be playing Tyrone Monaghan and Armagh in our northern section of div 1, we'll be sick looking at each other."
I guess we'll see if a top class manager has had Tyrone operating at a higher level than they really should have been for years or if in fact he was holding them back.

My theory is Tyrone haven't beaten a top class team in a knockout championship game for a very long time and it's very possible they were made the best of the average group of counties due to very good management, but the talent simply isn't there to compete with the above average group or higher quality counties.

Tyrone market themselves well due to a number of the great 00's team now being based in the media, but I'm not convinced by them and without Harte on the line Tyrone might struggle more than their fans want to acknowledge. I guess time will tell!

sam1884 (UK) - Posts: 847 - 16/04/2021 21:57:56    2337460

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What is peoples opinion on this system-
As usual play the League first with the final positions determining your rank 1 - 32
Then play your Provincial Championship, with the winners each moving into rank 1,2,3,4, if a team below 16 wins there provincial championship they knock the 16th placed team into the division 2 comp the Tailteann Cup.
So, your top 16 play for Sam Maguire and bottom 16 playing in Tailteann Cup
4 groups of 4 , top team in each group play in semi finals.

Only a 1 week gap between last group game and semi final and the same between semi final and final.
Both finals to be played on the same weekend
Tailteann Cup final to be played on the Saturday and for the craic have the masters all ireland final as a curtain raiser
All Ireland - Sam Maguire, played on the Sunday with the minor as curtain raiser.

Also of topic but for an event on Paddys Day, how about a March Madness style Railway Cup for Football and Hurling in Croke Park,, Games of 15 min halfs. knock out style, football and hurling games played alternatively so no team is playing two games back to back, possible make it 13 aside for more space thus more goals being scored

rhubarb (USA) - Posts: 25 - 17/04/2021 02:18:16    2337469

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Replying To royaldunne:  "Ok many years ago a idea was floated around here, it got ridiculed by many, and I must say at the time I didn't see the merit to it (perhaps I was naive, or not wanting to accept what was happening) however I can admit when I am wrong and on the following idea, I was wrong and my position has changed.
The proposal? To move Dublin around the 4 provinces. So you have a Leinster metropolitan championship year 1, a ulster metropolitan year 2, a Connacht metropolitan year 3 and a munster metropolitan year 4, and so on. Other provinces get the benefit of dubs traveling to their venues and playing in croke park before quarters etc. And in turn give a massive boost to provincials particularly in Leinster.
As I said I was against this before, but drastic times calls for drastic measures.
Football apart from the league is dying in Leinster that's a fact. Even the most diehard supporters couldn't care about the upcoming draws, they are still interested in leagues, so there is still hope. But gaa must be prepared to make changes or it will end, quicker than most people think too."
I had a recent idea with a wider rotation of strong teams -

1) Play usual 4 Uls/Lein Prelim Rd pairings.
2) Continue with 4 Confs of 8.
3) Each 8 played under 2017 C Ring Cup format (with Rds 1, 2a, 2b, 2QFs, 2SFs, Final).
4) Conf Rd 1 Open Draw.
5) 2 Rd 2b winners in each Conf relocate - one to each of 2 coastal neighbouring Confs.
6) Relocated teams kept apart in Conf QFs/SFs.
7) 4 Conf Champs to old-style AI SFs.

Confs retain strong traditional Prov element, as 20 teams stay in their own Conf/Prov and 12 relocate (4 Prelim losers / 8 Rd 2b winners).
Rd 1 Open Draw may send some strong teams to Rd 2b and on to a neighbouring Conf QF to rebalance existing Prov composition.
AI Champ has to first win a Conf/Prov Final, including teams with one defeat.

There could be real mischief here, if - Tyrone takes Dublin's Lein title north - or there's hurt in Kerry, as 'their' regional cup is taken out west by Mayo or Galway.

Certain regional international soccer tournaments have a history of inviting 'guest' teams [i.e. Copa America (South Amer) & Gold Cup (CONCACAF), with Japan & US having played in both.]

In lieu of this idea, Wham's recent post is good - keep pure Provs, but 4 Champs + 4 high NFL teams get 8 byes to AI Rd of 16; Next 8 get byes to Last 24 (incl Prov losing Finalists and next NFL teams); and 16 Lowest NFL teams (all non Prov Finalists only) to AI Rd 1.

omahant (USA) - Posts: 2115 - 17/04/2021 07:59:22    2337474

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Dublin's dominance has killed Gaelic football it's as simple as that.... An open draw in what ever form you think off is not going to stop that... Say for example Kerry had to travel up North in the 1st round and came a cropper and Tyrone vMayo the season would be over before it starts.... There is no easy solution to a problem the GAA have mainly created for themselves.... Attendance figures at GAA Championships match's tells me people have lost total interest in the game (football)

ForeverBlue2 (Cavan) - Posts: 286 - 17/04/2021 09:29:14    2337478

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Replying To omahant:  "I had a recent idea with a wider rotation of strong teams -

1) Play usual 4 Uls/Lein Prelim Rd pairings.
2) Continue with 4 Confs of 8.
3) Each 8 played under 2017 C Ring Cup format (with Rds 1, 2a, 2b, 2QFs, 2SFs, Final).
4) Conf Rd 1 Open Draw.
5) 2 Rd 2b winners in each Conf relocate - one to each of 2 coastal neighbouring Confs.
6) Relocated teams kept apart in Conf QFs/SFs.
7) 4 Conf Champs to old-style AI SFs.

Confs retain strong traditional Prov element, as 20 teams stay in their own Conf/Prov and 12 relocate (4 Prelim losers / 8 Rd 2b winners).
Rd 1 Open Draw may send some strong teams to Rd 2b and on to a neighbouring Conf QF to rebalance existing Prov composition.
AI Champ has to first win a Conf/Prov Final, including teams with one defeat.

There could be real mischief here, if - Tyrone takes Dublin's Lein title north - or there's hurt in Kerry, as 'their' regional cup is taken out west by Mayo or Galway.

Certain regional international soccer tournaments have a history of inviting 'guest' teams [i.e. Copa America (South Amer) & Gold Cup (CONCACAF), with Japan & US having played in both.


In lieu of this idea, Wham's recent post is good - keep pure Provs, but 4 Champs + 4 high NFL teams get 8 byes to AI Rd of 16; Next 8 get byes to Last 24 (incl Prov losing Finalists and next NFL teams); and 16 Lowest NFL teams (all non Prov Finalists only) to AI Rd 1."]Why complicate everything. Play provincials, then play open draw All-Ireland, no back door, neutral venues. Back door was brought in to give lower teams another chance, well this way they get at least two games.

Saynothing (Tyrone) - Posts: 917 - 17/04/2021 09:37:17    2337479

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Look I'm not saying scratch the provincials, I just believe as a competition most particular Leinster is a dead duck. Over the next number of years barring a almighty upset dubs will win it every year. Jasus when you see the only county caught breaking the rules to train and get a advantage was dubs, shows how the others haven't a hope. Over the past ten years there has been some really close good games in Leinster that would rival any province, once dubs not involved, I think it's fair to say last year and less so the year before Meath have progressed more than any other team in Leinster, but inevitable defeat to Dublin and all their advantages leaves not only Meath wondering but every other county the same. What would Kildare Wicklow etc think ? Well they beat us easily and look what happened to them.
There lays the problem. I was in Mullingar the night Westmeath won the Leinster 17 years ago. The atmosphere was electric I saw old men cry. Even me a Meath man was happy for them. Those days will not return unless the gaa does something. What I don't know. But something needs to be done and it needs to be done now, not in 5 years, by then it will be too late.

royaldunne (Meath) - Posts: 17787 - 17/04/2021 09:53:38    2337480

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Replying To omahant:  "I had a recent idea with a wider rotation of strong teams -

1) Play usual 4 Uls/Lein Prelim Rd pairings.
2) Continue with 4 Confs of 8.
3) Each 8 played under 2017 C Ring Cup format (with Rds 1, 2a, 2b, 2QFs, 2SFs, Final).
4) Conf Rd 1 Open Draw.
5) 2 Rd 2b winners in each Conf relocate - one to each of 2 coastal neighbouring Confs.
6) Relocated teams kept apart in Conf QFs/SFs.
7) 4 Conf Champs to old-style AI SFs.

Confs retain strong traditional Prov element, as 20 teams stay in their own Conf/Prov and 12 relocate (4 Prelim losers / 8 Rd 2b winners).
Rd 1 Open Draw may send some strong teams to Rd 2b and on to a neighbouring Conf QF to rebalance existing Prov composition.
AI Champ has to first win a Conf/Prov Final, including teams with one defeat.

There could be real mischief here, if - Tyrone takes Dublin's Lein title north - or there's hurt in Kerry, as 'their' regional cup is taken out west by Mayo or Galway.

Certain regional international soccer tournaments have a history of inviting 'guest' teams [i.e. Copa America (South Amer) & Gold Cup (CONCACAF), with Japan & US having played in both.


In lieu of this idea, Wham's recent post is good - keep pure Provs, but 4 Champs + 4 high NFL teams get 8 byes to AI Rd of 16; Next 8 get byes to Last 24 (incl Prov losing Finalists and next NFL teams); and 16 Lowest NFL teams (all non Prov Finalists only) to AI Rd 1."]The season schedule would look something along the lines of the below. Is the last week of May too early for teams to be eliminated? They'll have had a minimum of 9 games over 15 weeks.

20th February NL1
27th February NL2
6th March NL3
13th March Break
20th March NL4
27th March Prov 1
3rd April Break
10th April NL5
17th April Prov QF
24th April Break
1st May NL6
8th May Prov SF
15th May Break
22nd May NL7
29th May Prov Final/AI Round 1
5th June Break
12th June AI Round 2
19th June AI Round 3
26th June Break
3rd July AI QF
10th July AI SF
17th July Break
24th July AI Final

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 3579 - 17/04/2021 11:43:57    2337486

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Replying To Saynothing:  "
Replying To omahant:  "I had a recent idea with a wider rotation of strong teams -

1) Play usual 4 Uls/Lein Prelim Rd pairings.
2) Continue with 4 Confs of 8.
3) Each 8 played under 2017 C Ring Cup format (with Rds 1, 2a, 2b, 2QFs, 2SFs, Final).
4) Conf Rd 1 Open Draw.
5) 2 Rd 2b winners in each Conf relocate - one to each of 2 coastal neighbouring Confs.
6) Relocated teams kept apart in Conf QFs/SFs.
7) 4 Conf Champs to old-style AI SFs.

Confs retain strong traditional Prov element, as 20 teams stay in their own Conf/Prov and 12 relocate (4 Prelim losers / 8 Rd 2b winners).
Rd 1 Open Draw may send some strong teams to Rd 2b and on to a neighbouring Conf QF to rebalance existing Prov composition.
AI Champ has to first win a Conf/Prov Final, including teams with one defeat.

There could be real mischief here, if - Tyrone takes Dublin's Lein title north - or there's hurt in Kerry, as 'their' regional cup is taken out west by Mayo or Galway.

Certain regional international soccer tournaments have a history of inviting 'guest' teams [i.e. Copa America (South Amer) & Gold Cup (CONCACAF), with Japan & US having played in both.


In lieu of this idea, Wham's recent post is good - keep pure Provs, but 4 Champs + 4 high NFL teams get 8 byes to AI Rd of 16; Next 8 get byes to Last 24 (incl Prov losing Finalists and next NFL teams); and 16 Lowest NFL teams (all non Prov Finalists only) to AI Rd 1."
Why complicate everything. Play provincials, then play open draw All-Ireland, no back door, neutral venues. Back door was brought in to give lower teams another chance, well this way they get at least two games."]To keep a link between the provincials and All Ireland series

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 3579 - 17/04/2021 12:33:43    2337494

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Replying To rhubarb:  "What is peoples opinion on this system-
As usual play the League first with the final positions determining your rank 1 - 32
Then play your Provincial Championship, with the winners each moving into rank 1,2,3,4, if a team below 16 wins there provincial championship they knock the 16th placed team into the division 2 comp the Tailteann Cup.
So, your top 16 play for Sam Maguire and bottom 16 playing in Tailteann Cup
4 groups of 4 , top team in each group play in semi finals.

Only a 1 week gap between last group game and semi final and the same between semi final and final.
Both finals to be played on the same weekend
Tailteann Cup final to be played on the Saturday and for the craic have the masters all ireland final as a curtain raiser
All Ireland - Sam Maguire, played on the Sunday with the minor as curtain raiser.

Also of topic but for an event on Paddys Day, how about a March Madness style Railway Cup for Football and Hurling in Croke Park,, Games of 15 min halfs. knock out style, football and hurling games played alternatively so no team is playing two games back to back, possible make it 13 aside for more space thus more goals being scored"
Very little

MicktheMiller (Offaly) - Posts: 390 - 17/04/2021 12:47:15    2337498

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