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Football Format Changes Discussion

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Replying To Rolo2010:  "There won't be any major changes to this new structure anytime soon. I do think provincials should be separate. It's a flawed sytem. There should be moved to the start of the season though. Then the league follows. I'm not sold on this group stage either with 3 of 4 teams advancing to the knockout. This format is based of a plan by Jim McGuinness but he had the championship stage as knockout only."
Yeah I agree with all of that.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 4256 - 09/04/2024 19:39:07    2536984

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Replying To Whammo86:  "Yeah I agree with all of that."
If the season is changed to 1) Provincial Championships, 2) League and 3) Championship, are league finals retained or scrapped? Are the provincial championships round robin or knockout? Is the All-Ireland series round robin to knockout or knockout only?
Proposal B fell because provincial championships were cut from the All-Ireland. A compromise is that provincial winners are guaranteed their place in the All-Ireland. A provincial round robin would give counties 4 or 5 games, before semi-finals and final.
If the league follows a provincial round robin, it should be a straight forward matter of determining the top 11 league qualifiers.
The All-Ireland itself wouldn't require another group stage after the league, nor should the league require finals. The All-Ireland in that format should be a straight race from 16 to final.
Without Division 4 finals in Croke Park, arguably there should be a Tier 3 offering a route to Croke Park and at least a place in the Tailteann in the following year. A left field option is 3 home and 3 away games during the league, and a Croke Park round.

legendzxix (Kerry) - Posts: 7943 - 09/04/2024 20:28:54    2536995

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Replying To legendzxix:  "I've said it before, if league finals are to be retained, the only option to allow breathing space is to replace the group stage with a Round of 16 over two legs.
If there is reluctance to stopping provincial runners-up from advancing to the All-Ireland, the only credible solution is seeding provincial draws based on league ranking to avoid unfair lopsided draws.
Tailteann winners don't get a seeding advantage. Provincial runners-up shouldn't gain a seeding advantage either. Provincial winners should be Seed 1 as is. Seeds 2, 3 and 4 should be based on league ranking.
In a Round of 16 format, provincial winners should be drawn against Seeds 4. Seeds 2 drawn against Seeds 3.
As an incentive for winning the province and performing well in the league, the All-Ireland quarter-final draw should be seeded based on provincial champions and then league placing. The same could apply to the All-Ireland semi-final draw. If Dublin and Derry are provincial champions and the top 2 seeds from the league, they would be kept apart in the semi-final draw."
A 2 legged round of 16 would be terrible.

who'd want to watch a 2nd leg after there'd been a first round hammering.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 4256 - 09/04/2024 21:02:40    2537001

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Replying To Whammo86:  "A 2 legged round of 16 would be terrible.

who'd want to watch a 2nd leg after there'd been a first round hammering."
Unless league finals are scrapped or the provincial championships are completed within 5 weeks, it is the only other option within the current structures to create that weekend off after the league finals.
Scrapping the preliminary quarter-finals won't achieve anything as they don't want football fixtures on the same weekend as the provincial hurling finals.
Scrapping league finals, though I'm not in favour, is probably the preferred option which is why it has been given the most consideration. If Division 4 counties want a day in Croke Park, a Tier 3 might be the only option.
As an incentive for winning a division of provincial championship, the reward of home games should be considered.
Derry, Donegal, Westmeath and Laois won league titles. Why not the reward of an extra home game in the All-Ireland or Tailteann group stage? Same for the provincial winners. If Derry win Ulster, why not two extra home games as reward for league and provincial championship?
Groups that have a free home game spot could be by luck of the draw.

legendzxix (Kerry) - Posts: 7943 - 09/04/2024 22:04:49    2537012

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Replying To legendzxix:  "Unless league finals are scrapped or the provincial championships are completed within 5 weeks, it is the only other option within the current structures to create that weekend off after the league finals.
Scrapping the preliminary quarter-finals won't achieve anything as they don't want football fixtures on the same weekend as the provincial hurling finals.
Scrapping league finals, though I'm not in favour, is probably the preferred option which is why it has been given the most consideration. If Division 4 counties want a day in Croke Park, a Tier 3 might be the only option.
As an incentive for winning a division of provincial championship, the reward of home games should be considered.
Derry, Donegal, Westmeath and Laois won league titles. Why not the reward of an extra home game in the All-Ireland or Tailteann group stage? Same for the provincial winners. If Derry win Ulster, why not two extra home games as reward for league and provincial championship?
Groups that have a free home game spot could be by luck of the draw."
How about putting the 4 league finals into 4 different AIC groups - Divs 1, 2, 3 (to Tier 1 groups 1, 2, 3) and Div 4 (to Tier 2 group 4) - to save a week and make them more valuable with two match points.

omahant (USA) - Posts: 2664 - 10/04/2024 04:49:59    2537026

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While I am all for scraping the provincial championships in general, perhaps amending it like the hurling championship is the answer.
The Ulster Championship is worth keeping

Leinster is for the bin and Munster the same. Even Kerry and Dublin don't care and they win them every year.

Connacht is a bit up and down, Galway and Mayo don't like to go 3 years without a win, but aren't too bothered about winning it every year. Roscommon like to win it, but just to keep up with Mayo and Galway. They would skip it if there was a chance of an all Ireland semi by another road.

So for me, it should be Ulster championship v Connacht championship, with Dublin, Cork, Kerry, Meath, Kildare added to Roscommon, Mayo and Galway.

Have a second tier with
Northern Group of
Loser of Ulster prelim round, Louth, Sligo, Leitrim, Longford, Westmeath, New York, Clare

Southern Group
Wexford, Waterford, Tipperary, Wicklow, London, Offaly, Laois, Kilkenny

No leagues, all teams play 7 matches - 3 home, 3 away, 1 Neutral venue

Top 4 from Ulster and Connacht go to all Ireland q finals
Bottom 4 in each group play off for relegation

Second Tier has q finals up to final.
Top in each group gets promoted Northern to Ulster, Southern to Connacht.

You can then play the old school knock out provincials for a bit of craic alongside the main competition

tirawleybaron (Mayo) - Posts: 1140 - 10/04/2024 07:39:42    2537036

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Hurling league finals are not played in Croke Park. The lower hurling tiered championship finals are in Croke Park. The hurling community seem happy out!
If league finals have to be the sacrifice for the split season, a Tier 3 is the only solution for Division 4 counties looking for a day out in Croke Park.
Tier 3 semi-finals could be hosted in Croke Park on the day before the Tailteann semi-finals. TG4 YouTube or GAAGO might broadcast the semi-finals. The final can be before the Sunday All-Ireland semi-final. The All-Ireland Junior final can be a curtain raiser to the All-Ireland senior football final.
If Dublin are unexpectedly hosting an All-Ireland preliminary quarter-final, the Tier 3 semi-finals can form part of a triple header if that scenario arose.

legendzxix (Kerry) - Posts: 7943 - 10/04/2024 10:42:31    2537071

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Would it not be better to have Tier 2 (and 3) Semis and Finals played without being the undercard to Sam games?
€10 tickets, free or €1 for children and try and get as many people from the competing Counties as possible to attend.

Seanfanbocht (Roscommon) - Posts: 1496 - 10/04/2024 11:47:25    2537090

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Replying To Seanfanbocht:  "Would it not be better to have Tier 2 (and 3) Semis and Finals played without being the undercard to Sam games?
€10 tickets, free or €1 for children and try and get as many people from the competing Counties as possible to attend."
The weekend before the All-Ireland quarter-finals, the day before the All-Ireland hurling final and the day before the All-Ireland football final are the only days available in Croke Park AFAIK.
The Tailteann semi-finals are already on their own. If a Tier 3 is brought in, those semi-finals should be on there own as well. The only caveat is Dublin unexpectedly hosting a preliminary quarter-final.

legendzxix (Kerry) - Posts: 7943 - 10/04/2024 13:12:18    2537119

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Replying To TheFlaker:  "Scrap the pre season comps and the provincials. Have one competition running from Feb until July/August. Every game matters and it would generate huge interest and would be a marketing dream. They could have seeds and playoffs and while we sneer at the Americans for many things they know how to market their sports.

The league is great but some teams going harder than others. Teams wanting to avoid finals and just get safe for the main part. I love the league but it's also semi pointless at this stage.

Obviously there would have to be 3 tiers to the above format but that's the way it should be, just like at club level. And obviously the club season has to be looked after but the league and championship is dead as a format currently."
not going to happen. J Burns has already send he will never scrap the provincials so we are stuck with them

The_Fridge (Tyrone) - Posts: 2090 - 10/04/2024 13:49:45    2537131

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Replying To The_Fridge:  "not going to happen. J Burns has already send he will never scrap the provincials so we are stuck with them"
A clear picture should be emerging then. League finals dropped. A Tier 3 brought in if Division 4 counties want a more accessible path to Croke Park. The debatable option then is seeding provincial draws based on league placing, for more fair and balanced draws.
People giving out about the current format are forgetting that Derry, Tyrone, Donegal, Armagh, Monaghan and Cavan will be in the All-Ireland series from their league ranking. Ulster counties are being rewarded for their league form.

legendzxix (Kerry) - Posts: 7943 - 10/04/2024 14:23:31    2537140

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Replying To The_Fridge:  "not going to happen. J Burns has already send he will never scrap the provincials so we are stuck with them"
He could of course be outvoted!

Seanfanbocht (Roscommon) - Posts: 1496 - 10/04/2024 14:48:51    2537154

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Replying To tirawleybaron:  "While I am all for scraping the provincial championships in general, perhaps amending it like the hurling championship is the answer.
The Ulster Championship is worth keeping

Leinster is for the bin and Munster the same. Even Kerry and Dublin don't care and they win them every year.

Connacht is a bit up and down, Galway and Mayo don't like to go 3 years without a win, but aren't too bothered about winning it every year. Roscommon like to win it, but just to keep up with Mayo and Galway. They would skip it if there was a chance of an all Ireland semi by another road.

So for me, it should be Ulster championship v Connacht championship, with Dublin, Cork, Kerry, Meath, Kildare added to Roscommon, Mayo and Galway.

Have a second tier with
Northern Group of
Loser of Ulster prelim round, Louth, Sligo, Leitrim, Longford, Westmeath, New York, Clare

Southern Group
Wexford, Waterford, Tipperary, Wicklow, London, Offaly, Laois, Kilkenny

No leagues, all teams play 7 matches - 3 home, 3 away, 1 Neutral venue

Top 4 from Ulster and Connacht go to all Ireland q finals
Bottom 4 in each group play off for relegation

Second Tier has q finals up to final.
Top in each group gets promoted Northern to Ulster, Southern to Connacht.

You can then play the old school knock out provincials for a bit of craic alongside the main competition"
7 games is too short without the league - maybe play 4 of 8 from own tier/other group as well (11 games, pre KO).

omahant (USA) - Posts: 2664 - 10/04/2024 14:57:24    2537160

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If the GAA want to make the championship exciting then go back to straight knock out. Invest expertise in weaker counties. A lot of counties are weak because they don't have the expertise nor the structure they need to compete with the traditionally strong counties. It isn't all about money, it is about proper structures, coaching etc. The provincial championships are a problem but there're not the biggest problem. There is a lot of discussion around what the right championship structure is but it doesn't matter what you do with the championship, there are too few teams capable of winning the all Ireland; the biggest myth in gaelic football is there are sixteen counties capable of winning the all Ireland - there's three-four at most, most years. The media in Ireland spin this myth that the weaker counties are the problem and suggest these various tiers - if the GAA want to have a competitive championship then they need to aid the counties in both hurling and football that need help to become more competitive. With the very odd exception, most counties have the capacity to compete at a decent level if they are given the right help. Finally attendance won't return to what they were in previous years until such time as gaelic football as a product to watch, improves.

wicklowsupport (Wicklow) - Posts: 1933 - 10/04/2024 15:14:04    2537167

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Replying To wicklowsupport:  "If the GAA want to make the championship exciting then go back to straight knock out. Invest expertise in weaker counties. A lot of counties are weak because they don't have the expertise nor the structure they need to compete with the traditionally strong counties. It isn't all about money, it is about proper structures, coaching etc. The provincial championships are a problem but there're not the biggest problem. There is a lot of discussion around what the right championship structure is but it doesn't matter what you do with the championship, there are too few teams capable of winning the all Ireland; the biggest myth in gaelic football is there are sixteen counties capable of winning the all Ireland - there's three-four at most, most years. The media in Ireland spin this myth that the weaker counties are the problem and suggest these various tiers - if the GAA want to have a competitive championship then they need to aid the counties in both hurling and football that need help to become more competitive. With the very odd exception, most counties have the capacity to compete at a decent level if they are given the right help. Finally attendance won't return to what they were in previous years until such time as gaelic football as a product to watch, improves."
Yeah, we have three likely AIC contenders this year, one more than many years in the 70s.

omahant (USA) - Posts: 2664 - 11/04/2024 00:29:55    2537265

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Here's a daft idea. Take the top 8/12/16/whatever teams and lift them out of and above the provincial championships. Then your provincial championships would be like Tier 2 competitions or something. But imagine how much more competitive Leinster would be without Dublin, or Munster without Kerry or Cork. So you'd have your All-Ireland Championship/Sam Maguire Cup at the top, and the provincials below that again. As for promotion/relegation, you could have playoffs between the provincial champions and the worst four performing teams in the Sam Maguire Cup. Maybe you could pair up provincial winners with Sam Maguire teams from the same province as much as possible, or maybe you could mix it up, or whatever. Any beaten Sam Maguire teams would, of course, drop back into their own province's championship.

Pros:
- The Sam Maguire Cup and the provincial championships could be run simultaneously.
- The provincials would be:
• more competitive.
• still important with the goals of silverware and promotion to the following year's Sam Maguire Cup available and realistic to all participants.

Cons:
- The provincials would be devalued without a doubt: would a Munster Championship for Clare under this system be a patch on their 1992 one? Or Leitrim versus their 1994 Connacht one? On the other hand, would these teams' supporters mind or care?
- The Connacht Championship in particular would risk being an annual shootout between Sligo and Leitrim (with all due respect to London and New York). Also, if one of them went up (or even both), things would get interesting for the Connacht Championship.
- The whole concept could be a load of garbage.

Tacaí Liatroma (Leitrim) - Posts: 1065 - 11/04/2024 11:31:03    2537302

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Replying To Tacaí Liatroma:  "Here's a daft idea. Take the top 8/12/16/whatever teams and lift them out of and above the provincial championships. Then your provincial championships would be like Tier 2 competitions or something. But imagine how much more competitive Leinster would be without Dublin, or Munster without Kerry or Cork. So you'd have your All-Ireland Championship/Sam Maguire Cup at the top, and the provincials below that again. As for promotion/relegation, you could have playoffs between the provincial champions and the worst four performing teams in the Sam Maguire Cup. Maybe you could pair up provincial winners with Sam Maguire teams from the same province as much as possible, or maybe you could mix it up, or whatever. Any beaten Sam Maguire teams would, of course, drop back into their own province's championship.

Pros:
- The Sam Maguire Cup and the provincial championships could be run simultaneously.
- The provincials would be:
• more competitive.
• still important with the goals of silverware and promotion to the following year's Sam Maguire Cup available and realistic to all participants.

Cons:
- The provincials would be devalued without a doubt: would a Munster Championship for Clare under this system be a patch on their 1992 one? Or Leitrim versus their 1994 Connacht one? On the other hand, would these teams' supporters mind or care?
- The Connacht Championship in particular would risk being an annual shootout between Sligo and Leitrim (with all due respect to London and New York). Also, if one of them went up (or even both), things would get interesting for the Connacht Championship.
- The whole concept could be a load of garbage."
Honestly I just think we are a small country our national championship should just be nationally based.

I don't think we are as far away from decoupling them from the All Ireland as some people on here would think. It was very close to happening a few years ago when the proposed All Ireland format to replace them was actually rubbish itself also.

If you'd a more sensible All Ireland format I think people could get behind the Provincials being decoupled.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 4256 - 11/04/2024 15:59:42    2537366

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The current advantage in winning provincial championships is avoiding other provincial winners. It doesn't seem to be an enticing carrot however.
Possible seeding this year, depending on results and shocks:
1. Derry, Dublin, Kerry, Mayo
2. Galway, Armagh, Louth, Clare/Waterford
3. Tyrone, Roscommon, Donegal, Monaghan
4. Cavan, Cork, Meath, Westmeath
Provincial winners will have a difficult home game to start the group stage. Mayo were ready and waiting for Kerry last year. Same with Roscommon for Dublin and Monaghan for Derry. Galway were the only provincial winner to win in Round 1 lady last year.
Fair seeding:
1. Derry, Dublin, Kerry, Mayo
2. Galway, Tyrone, Roscommon, Donegal
3. Armagh, Monaghan, Cavan, Cork
4. Meath, Louth, Westmeath, Clare/Waterford
Seeding 2, 3 and 4 on league placing is fairer. There are still tough draws though but at least it would be more balanced.
ACTUAL GROUP 4 AFTER ROUND 2:
Derry - 3
Monaghan - 3
Donegal - 2 (Head to head win over Clare)
Clare - 0 (Knocked out after Round 2)
ALTERNATIVE AFTER ROUND 2 WITH CLARE SEED 4:
Derry - 4 (Beat Donegal and Clare)
Donegal - 2 (Beat Monaghan)
Monaghan - 2 (Beat Clare)
SUMMARY
Clare lost to Donegal and Monaghan last year. They were already knocked out when they played Derry. If Clare had been Seed 4, they would have lost to Monaghan in Round 1 and Derry in Round 2. They would have played Donegal in Round 3 however with the mathematical possibility of finishing third if they had caused a shock be beating Donegal.
Lower league counties funnily enough are better off as Seeds 4. It gives them a higher percentage chance of still being in the championship in Round 3, where a surprise win over a Seed 3 could see them go through.

legendzxix (Kerry) - Posts: 7943 - 11/04/2024 16:59:52    2537376

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Replying To Whammo86:  "Honestly I just think we are a small country our national championship should just be nationally based.

I don't think we are as far away from decoupling them from the All Ireland as some people on here would think. It was very close to happening a few years ago when the proposed All Ireland format to replace them was actually rubbish itself also.

If you'd a more sensible All Ireland format I think people could get behind the Provincials being decoupled."
Bring back your AIC KO:
Rd 1 - lowest 16 "non-Prov Final" teams.
Rd 2 - next lowest 8 "non-Prov Champ" teams v 8 Rd 1 winners.
Rd of 16- remaining 8 "top" teams v 8 Rd 2 winners.
QFs, SFs, Final.

omahant (USA) - Posts: 2664 - 11/04/2024 17:37:51    2537386

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Replying To Whammo86:  "Honestly I just think we are a small country our national championship should just be nationally based.

I don't think we are as far away from decoupling them from the All Ireland as some people on here would think. It was very close to happening a few years ago when the proposed All Ireland format to replace them was actually rubbish itself also.

If you'd a more sensible All Ireland format I think people could get behind the Provincials being decoupled."
Right idea but they messed it up by having Div 3 and 4 teams qualifying. Even they revised version still had it. I think you could have gotten it over the line if lets say 5 Div 1 teams qualified plus 2 or 3 from Div 1B. Still not ideal but at least it would be something like the Joe McDonagh.

Rolo2010 (Donegal) - Posts: 739 - 11/04/2024 18:38:15    2537393

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