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Should There Be A Back Door For Football?

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Replying To royaldunne:  "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."
So my problem with this is that it doesn't get to the crux of the problem.

Is it the case that Dublin have too many advantages in terms of population, financing, squad proximity to one another that it's becoming impossible for a regular county to get to a level to compete with them.

If that's the problem trying to save Leinster but this short term fix could be at the expense of saving the All Ireland.

It's either the case that regular counties can compete with Dublin or they increasingly can't.

If Kerry, Mayo, Galway, Tyrone or Donegal can compete with Dublin then it's up to the Meath, Kildare, Laois, Westmeath's of this world to get up to that level.

I don't think they can do it alone. I think they need help and The think there does need to be a rethink of the GAA competition structures and financing equalisation to help.

Rotating Dublin out of Leinster just isn't the answer in my opinion. It's a short term measure that doesn't lead to a substantive change.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 3535 - 17/04/2021 13:12:01    2337500

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Replying To Whammo86:  "So my problem with this is that it doesn't get to the crux of the problem.

Is it the case that Dublin have too many advantages in terms of population, financing, squad proximity to one another that it's becoming impossible for a regular county to get to a level to compete with them.

If that's the problem trying to save Leinster but this short term fix could be at the expense of saving the All Ireland.

It's either the case that regular counties can compete with Dublin or they increasingly can't.

If Kerry, Mayo, Galway, Tyrone or Donegal can compete with Dublin then it's up to the Meath, Kildare, Laois, Westmeath's of this world to get up to that level.

I don't think they can do it alone. I think they need help and The think there does need to be a rethink of the GAA competition structures and financing equalisation to help.

Rotating Dublin out of Leinster just isn't the answer in my opinion. It's a short term measure that doesn't lead to a substantive change."
Maybe not, I'm not saying it's the only alternative.
That been said I do think we have seen Dublin dismissal of counties outside Leinster emerge as a real problem too, I am not been disrespectful to Cavan but watching it I do think dubs were just coasting, they last time they played Tyrone in knock out they destroyed them, the all ire final, v mayo while close I felt that mayo were at their best dubs again appeared to play within themselves until second half. Now the drawn all ire v Kerry was one that Kerry should have won. Of that there is no doubt and I am sure every Kerry supporter sees that as one that got away. Can Donegal beat them ? I don't think so, can Tyrone? No , can mayo ? I actually don't believe they can, can Galway? No. That leaves Kerry. They have their new golden generation that should at least win a couple of all Ireland's. My worry is that in 2/4 years time when dubs have the 10 in a row. What state will football be in ? Will people be still blaming Meath and Kildare for the state of Leinster football or will they wake up to see, hang on we as amateurs are actually playing a de facto professional team.

royaldunne (Meath) - Posts: 17779 - 17/04/2021 14:21:18    2337507

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Replying To wicklowsupport:  "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."
In most county club competitions, you've a graded system: senior, intermediate and junior... no team being asked to punch above its weight. It's high time that the same were done at inter-county level; three levels not two. And call it senior, inter and junior. There's no need for A, B or C.

And to do that you'd have not enough time for the provincial nonsense that we now have. Let Limerick, Waterford or Fermanagh, etc win the junior if they're good enough. Winning a 10/11 team competition with a realistic chance of winning, should mean more, if promoted properly, than competing in a 5 or 6 county provincial farce with little or no hope of winning.

Open yer eyes and look to the future of the games, not the rigid, useless past.

foreveryoung (USA) - Posts: 692 - 17/04/2021 15:18:10    2337512

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Replying To ForeverBlue2:  "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......"
In most county club competitions, you've a graded system: senior, intermediate and junior... no team being asked to punch above its weight. It's high time that the same were done at inter-county level; three levels not two. And call it senior, inter and junior. There's no need for A, B or C.

And to do that you'd have not enough time for the provincial nonsense that we now have. Let Limerick, Waterford or Fermanagh, etc win the junior if they're good enough. Winning a 10/11 team competition with a realistic chance of winning, should mean more, if promoted properly, than competing in a 5 or 6 county provincial farce with little or no hope of winning.

Open yer eyes and look to the future of the games, not the rigid, useless past.

foreveryoung (USA) - Posts: 692 - 17/04/2021 15:18:35    2337513

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Replying To royaldunne:  "Maybe not, I'm not saying it's the only alternative.
That been said I do think we have seen Dublin dismissal of counties outside Leinster emerge as a real problem too, I am not been disrespectful to Cavan but watching it I do think dubs were just coasting, they last time they played Tyrone in knock out they destroyed them, the all ire final, v mayo while close I felt that mayo were at their best dubs again appeared to play within themselves until second half. Now the drawn all ire v Kerry was one that Kerry should have won. Of that there is no doubt and I am sure every Kerry supporter sees that as one that got away. Can Donegal beat them ? I don't think so, can Tyrone? No , can mayo ? I actually don't believe they can, can Galway? No. That leaves Kerry. They have their new golden generation that should at least win a couple of all Ireland's. My worry is that in 2/4 years time when dubs have the 10 in a row. What state will football be in ? Will people be still blaming Meath and Kildare for the state of Leinster football or will they wake up to see, hang on we as amateurs are actually playing a de facto professional team."
Yes, I agree with that all to be honest.

There's a big problem that needs to be thought about in terms of inter-county football. The downfall of Leinster Championship is a warning about was is happening to the All Ireland. I don't know the solution but Dublin's dominance is a real threat in my opinion to the overall championship. Cosmetic or short term changes are not going to work.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 3535 - 17/04/2021 15:40:37    2337517

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Replying To Whammo86:  "Yes, I agree with that all to be honest.

There's a big problem that needs to be thought about in terms of inter-county football. The downfall of Leinster Championship is a warning about was is happening to the All Ireland. I don't know the solution but Dublin's dominance is a real threat in my opinion to the overall championship. Cosmetic or short term changes are not going to work."
Totally agree. I do honestly think that for the last 6/7 years there has been a view that , ahh sure it's only cause Meath Kildare Laois etc are so bad, wait till the play xyz, but it hasn't materialised, and them same voices need to now say, look it's actually a problem created by the structures put in place to help Dublin.

royaldunne (Meath) - Posts: 17779 - 17/04/2021 18:39:40    2337560

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Replying To foreveryoung:  "In most county club competitions, you've a graded system: senior, intermediate and junior... no team being asked to punch above its weight. It's high time that the same were done at inter-county level; three levels not two. And call it senior, inter and junior. There's no need for A, B or C.

And to do that you'd have not enough time for the provincial nonsense that we now have. Let Limerick, Waterford or Fermanagh, etc win the junior if they're good enough. Winning a 10/11 team competition with a realistic chance of winning, should mean more, if promoted properly, than competing in a 5 or 6 county provincial farce with little or no hope of winning.

Open yer eyes and look to the future of the games, not the rigid, useless past."
I would agree with this type of format which is a minor image of what happens in the ever popular Ladies football championship...and in the hurling championship... It allows team to compete at their proper level and would cut out all the lob sided turkey shoots that are becoming more prevalent every year.... The big problem is that the weaker counties will vote feverishly against this idea... For some strange reason they like the idea of getting an absolute demoralising pasting from one of the big guns every season....

ForeverBlue2 (Cavan) - Posts: 283 - 17/04/2021 19:59:15    2337576

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Replying To royaldunne:  "Totally agree. I do honestly think that for the last 6/7 years there has been a view that , ahh sure it's only cause Meath Kildare Laois etc are so bad, wait till the play xyz, but it hasn't materialised, and them same voices need to now say, look it's actually a problem created by the structures put in place to help Dublin."
I agree with most of your points on this thread royaldunne. What I would say is, if GAA HQ stepped in and withdrew all of Dublin's coaching grants it wouldn't make a difference or have made a difference to the current Dublin team's success.

What is a concern, is Dublin GAA have realised their commercial potential. I don't have a problem with clubs like Ballymun (as the documentary showed) being given funding in the same way clubs up and down the country are assisted by their county boards or local authorities. The fact Dublin have more clubs and bigger clubs does lead to the coaching bill being more expensive in the capital. Personally I want grassroots GAA in our capital to be successful.

As mentioned earlier the fact Dublin's commercial machine is pumping so much money into the "business" is allowing them to spread significant amounts of money across the whole operation. This includes topping up coaching grants to have a significant number of full time development coaches, and money to spend on their teams. I've never and will never think money spent on Dublin's senior men's football team is the sole reason for their success because we'd be naive not to acknowledge the money spent on the likes of Kerry, Mayo and to a certain extent Tyrone.

Where it is more obvious is Dublin's new found wealth has had a significant difference when you look at the record of Dublin's ladies prior to the last 10 years and their record over the past couple of years.

There isn't as much money in the Ladies game and Dublin in my opinion have been able to pump finance into that area and get straight to the top and will likely remain there as other Ladies counties will simply not be able to compete with that level of finance.

Dublin Hurling has went from Nicky Rackard standard to being around the top table. Dublin hurling started so far back, it would be impossible to challenge the big counties especially as these are also weathly counties, but the money pumped into hurling in the capital did make a difference.

In terms of men's football, as we see with senior hurling money alone will not allow you to dominate forever. When Kerry are over their transition which looks very close, make no bones about it finance will not stop them competing with Dublin, the same for Mayo, Galway and Tyrone. In my opinion we're heading towards a superpower system in the GAA - you'll need finance to enter that group but when in that group one having more money than the other won't come into it.

Ultimately I think the GAA acknowledge this and my prediction is within the next 10 years we'll have three All Ireland football championships; with the super powers all competing with each other and the rest graded into their own groups. The GAA know finance is now the name of the game for the top counties and there is little they can do to control that, when the counties are driving their own commerical machines.

sam1884 (UK) - Posts: 843 - 18/04/2021 10:50:29    2337643

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Replying To sam1884:  "I agree with most of your points on this thread royaldunne. What I would say is, if GAA HQ stepped in and withdrew all of Dublin's coaching grants it wouldn't make a difference or have made a difference to the current Dublin team's success.

What is a concern, is Dublin GAA have realised their commercial potential. I don't have a problem with clubs like Ballymun (as the documentary showed) being given funding in the same way clubs up and down the country are assisted by their county boards or local authorities. The fact Dublin have more clubs and bigger clubs does lead to the coaching bill being more expensive in the capital. Personally I want grassroots GAA in our capital to be successful.

As mentioned earlier the fact Dublin's commercial machine is pumping so much money into the "business" is allowing them to spread significant amounts of money across the whole operation. This includes topping up coaching grants to have a significant number of full time development coaches, and money to spend on their teams. I've never and will never think money spent on Dublin's senior men's football team is the sole reason for their success because we'd be naive not to acknowledge the money spent on the likes of Kerry, Mayo and to a certain extent Tyrone.

Where it is more obvious is Dublin's new found wealth has had a significant difference when you look at the record of Dublin's ladies prior to the last 10 years and their record over the past couple of years.

There isn't as much money in the Ladies game and Dublin in my opinion have been able to pump finance into that area and get straight to the top and will likely remain there as other Ladies counties will simply not be able to compete with that level of finance.

Dublin Hurling has went from Nicky Rackard standard to being around the top table. Dublin hurling started so far back, it would be impossible to challenge the big counties especially as these are also weathly counties, but the money pumped into hurling in the capital did make a difference.

In terms of men's football, as we see with senior hurling money alone will not allow you to dominate forever. When Kerry are over their transition which looks very close, make no bones about it finance will not stop them competing with Dublin, the same for Mayo, Galway and Tyrone. In my opinion we're heading towards a superpower system in the GAA - you'll need finance to enter that group but when in that group one having more money than the other won't come into it.

Ultimately I think the GAA acknowledge this and my prediction is within the next 10 years we'll have three All Ireland football championships; with the super powers all competing with each other and the rest graded into their own groups. The GAA know finance is now the name of the game for the top counties and there is little they can do to control that, when the counties are driving their own commerical machines."
I think there has to be means testing to direct funding to inter county teams.

Im not on board with the idea that Dublin have been "financially doped".

I do think the association would benefit from more competitive balance and that the have nots could be subsidised at the expense of there being prize money distributed on the basis of performance for instance.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 3535 - 18/04/2021 13:59:38    2337683

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If the playing field was leveled there would be no need for the back door.

supersub15 (Carlow) - Posts: 2463 - 18/04/2021 14:04:26    2337684

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Replying To Whammo86:  "I think there has to be means testing to direct funding to inter county teams.

Im not on board with the idea that Dublin have been "financially doped".

I do think the association would benefit from more competitive balance and that the have nots could be subsidised at the expense of there being prize money distributed on the basis of performance for instance."
They haven't been "financially doped" I agree and I think it's unfair many have tried to label them as being so. They have received coaching grants to be spread across a higher populated area with more and bigger clubs.

County Boards now employ officals and coaches on a full time basis, they have their own commerical machine and some counties are even now employing chief executives. The GAA aren't in a position to step in and stop employment opportunities or counties making their own lucrative commercial deals nor I suspect they'd want to. Where the GAA have a right to step in, is ensuring counties are not getting themselves into large debt and then come with the begging bowl to HQ.

The GAA have their own commercial machine and instead of halting these super power counties it's more likely they'll facilitate a competition that allows them to compete amongst each other with huge subsequent commercial benefits. That is where we're heading and whilst that is harsh on the "have not's" the GAA is partly a business, the split season and talk of a secondary competition is the start of that process in my opinion and eventually a third competition will be added.

sam1884 (UK) - Posts: 843 - 18/04/2021 16:16:42    2337701

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Replying To supersub15:  "If the playing field was leveled there would be no need for the back door."
How would you level the playing field and if the playing field was leveled it would mean there would be even more of a need for a better structure for the main inter county competition of the year

KillingFields (Limerick) - Posts: 2542 - 18/04/2021 19:44:38    2337744

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Replying To KillingFields:  "How would you level the playing field and if the playing field was leveled it would mean there would be even more of a need for a better structure for the main inter county competition of the year"
I would base any changes I would make on the lgfa and take it from their, I'm led to believe they have an all-inclusive very worthwhile structure in place, financially promising if not altogether stable. Their association ( lgfa ) is based on one unit, no elitism, no super 8's just an all-inclusive one unit. For the obvious reasons they are not going to give me a free pass into how they operate so on that note I would ask for their assistance in setting up a recovery program in how to close the back gate for good, I'm sure I'll have put in place a plan of my own in the not too distant future.

By the way, would you care to help me with one or two of your suggestions, they would be appreciated.

supersub15 (Carlow) - Posts: 2463 - 18/04/2021 21:16:55    2337767

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Replying To Whammo86:  "Yes, I agree with that all to be honest.

There's a big problem that needs to be thought about in terms of inter-county football. The downfall of Leinster Championship is a warning about was is happening to the All Ireland. I don't know the solution but Dublin's dominance is a real threat in my opinion to the overall championship. Cosmetic or short term changes are not going to work."
Seriously, what can be done - I throw down the gauntlet - what would you do ?

How about 10 regional teams - Uls 3 (3 counties in each - West, Mid & East Uls); Muns 2 (3 in each - West & East Muns); Conn 2 (3 in each incl London - North & South Conn) and Lein 3 (with North 3, Mid 4 & South Lein 4 - and the Dubs split in 3, allocated to the 3 regions as well).

I could see half of the 10 regions being competitive, in with a chance of winning Sam - maybe, small number of competitive teams is best, like hurling.

Play season as a League Championship - 2 groups of 5 - draw at least 1 region from each Prov to each group - 14 match regular season (twice v other group, once v own group) - top 3 of 5 to each own group KO, or alternatively, 6 of 10 to KO (top 2 get byes to AI SFs) from combined table.

omahant (USA) - Posts: 2103 - 19/04/2021 00:59:30    2337798

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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."]Huh ? - Wham's idea was to play the Provs and an Open Draw AI KO (2 game mimimum) with a layered entry point. As your name suggests, I should "say nothing" - but wonder if some people are thinking at all.

omahant (USA) - Posts: 2103 - 19/04/2021 05:20:56    2337799

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Wicklow/Wexford vs Dublin.


Somebody should resign in the GAA, for this neglect.

sponger (Wicklow) - Posts: 2733 - 20/04/2021 09:31:09    2337976

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Replying To sponger:  "Wicklow/Wexford vs Dublin.


Somebody should resign in the GAA, for this neglect."
It's just ridiculous at this stage. I mean forget about counties outside of Leinster. Does anyone in Leinster give a rats ass about this draw ? Including dubs. I doubt it very much.
However the excitement for the league is building, the all ire is dying a slow death. And the only ones to blame ?? The Gaa.

royaldunne (Meath) - Posts: 17779 - 20/04/2021 10:12:40    2337985

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Anyone got the league fixtures yet ?

carlovia (None) - Posts: 1339 - 20/04/2021 10:19:46    2337987

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Replying To royaldunne:  "It's just ridiculous at this stage. I mean forget about counties outside of Leinster. Does anyone in Leinster give a rats ass about this draw ? Including dubs. I doubt it very much.
However the excitement for the league is building, the all ire is dying a slow death. And the only ones to blame ?? The Gaa."
Yeah.....the amount of discussion about the draw on this, a GAA discussion board, is damning. The thing is gone.

Only item of interest I read (from the42) was this:

"The draw took place on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, with Leinster GAA chairman Pat Teehan joining Darren Frehill.

Teehan confirmed that the six-in-a-row All-Ireland champions will not play the last-eight clash in Croke Park, the game to be played at a neutral venue following their Covid-19 training breach."



Probably as close as we'll get to a definitive statement that Croke Park is a home venue for Dublin.

The GAA are just rubbing everyone's nose in it at this stage,

Greenfield (Meath) - Posts: 455 - 20/04/2021 10:34:07    2337989

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And play the quarter final at a neutral venue ?

Why not play it it in Wicklow or Wexford ?

This is all a waste of time.

sponger (Wicklow) - Posts: 2733 - 20/04/2021 10:51:01    2337991

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