Quinlivan: "Everyone is scared of change until change comes about." Ken Sutton/INPHO

'Nobody wants demoralising B championship,' Tipp star Quinlivan warns

Michael Quinlivan says lack of compromise regarding GPA proposals was disappointing.

PARTS OF THE Gaelic Players Association’s plan for overhauling the football championship could have been saved, Michael Quinlivan said as he warned that the re-introduction of a ‘B championship’ would be demoralising.

The Tipperary star helped to draw up the GPA blueprint for reform, but their radical proposal was given short shrift by the decision-makers on Central Council.

Director general Paraic Duffy said the Champions League-style plan was rejected because it would double the number of championship matches; create more lop-sided games; dilute the knockout element of the competition; and reduce the reward for winning the provincial championships.

Instead Congress will vote later this month on a motion to make some minor structural changes and, controversially, to relegate the Division 4 teams to a secondary competition.

“The thing I was a small bit disappointed about was why, if there was 16 proposals there or something like that, why couldn’t they have taken the best out of all of them and come forward with their own one?” Quinlivan said.

“That would have been something productive.

The players said that they didn’t want a B championship so [it should have been], ‘Okay, no B championship.’

“Maybe there mightn’t have been a need for a round robin; maybe you just go straight into the draw. That might have been something to look at. I’m sure they did and just decided against that.”

The process — in which the players’ voices seem to have been largely ignored — was frustrating, Quinlivan added.

“But the GAA is a democracy. At the end of the day, that’s the way it is.

“Sometimes change is slow. And it might take another couple of years before radical change like that is brought in which is disappointing if you’re playing at the time.

“But if you can leave a legacy there, you know, ‘We changed the championship to what it is now.’

Everyone is scared of change until change comes about.

And while he cautioned against any nuclear strategy which could open the door to a players’ strike, he insisted that a B championship is “definitely not the way forward.”

“It would demoralise a lot of counties,” he warned. “Nobody wants it.”

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