Donegal legend speaks up for club players everywhere with brilliant argument against Pat Spillane
"As a GAA person, I welcome it." Pat Spillane couldn't have sounded less like a GAA person in that moment.
After the highlights of the league action on RTÉ's Allianz League Sunday show, Michael Lyster, Rory Kavanagh and Spillane got down to business over Congress.
The GAA have introduced a new structure to the football championship that will come into play from 2018 for three years. Once we get to the quarter-final stage, teams will enter into a round robin - two groups of four. The top two from each group will advance to the semis.
So @officialgaa have increased quarter-final fixtures from 4 games to 12. But it's OK because they've given themselves 3 less weeks to do it
— Conán Doherty (@ConanDoherty) February 25, 2017
This has been sold as some sort of saving grace for club football because, with it, the All-Ireland final has been brought forward to August - rather than the third Sunday in September.
But the fixture congestion it's going to cause will be complete chaos. It'll be madness. The provincial series are not only completely unfair and outdated, but they drag out for no good reason across three calendar months and then this Super 8 is going to command 12 different dates when most counties around the island at least could get some semblance of normality back into their club fixtures when their teams were eliminated.
Now it's prolong - further.
This was a congress that highlighted the frightening and unacceptable divide between actual players and coaches and people generally involved in the game on a daily basis, and the suits that are somehow dictating how those people should live.
Pat Spillane backs them though. Of course he does.
"More high-profile games, more money that can be channeled down to games promotion and development," the Kerry man said on Allianz League Sunday about the new structure.
"Over the 15 years of the qualifiers, 23 counties have appeared in the quarter-final stage.
"I welcome it as a rural person and a person thinking of rural economy needs. A Dublin coming to Killarney, a Dublin going to Castlebar, a Kerry going to Salthill, it would be brilliant for the profile of the GAA and for the economy of the region."
Then Rory Kavanagh gave a voice for people this actually affects. The people who "weren't listened to".
Former Donegal player Rory Kavanagh feels the GAA have "pulled the wool over people's eyes" with new football championship format pic.twitter.com/YWTVxBeMFW
— RTÉ Sport (@RTEsport) February 26, 2017
"Players want to see a complete restructure of the championship," - exactly. Because it's the only way to fix the mess and it can be done with a World Cup format that allows the club season to run off in the same year as the county one.
But some just don't want to listen.
The more men we have like Rory Kavanagh speaking up, the better.
Pat Spillane confirming he is entrenched with the 'out of touch' brigade. Thankfully Rory Kavanagh isn't. #super8 #leaguesunday
— Peter O'Connell (@peterdoconnell1) February 26, 2017
Great to see @123kav on RTE tonight. Doing really well. Played in the big time and really knows his football. #NoAgenda @officialdonegal
— Owen McConnon (@OwenMcConnon1) February 26, 2017
I would liked to have heard what @123kav opinions were on congress on @TheSundayGame tonight #spillane
— Adrian McGuckin (@Shamrocksabu) February 26, 2017
Pat has a lot to say when Joe Brolly isn't on the panel Can't get word in sideways Rory looks polished
— Chris Scott (@derry_scott) February 26, 2017