McHugh slams championship format
18 June 2013
Former Donegal great Martin McHugh
Martin McHugh says it's time to put a padlock on the back door.
The Qualifiers were introduced to apparently help the weaker counties but have seemingly had the opposite effect and McHugh believes it's time to draw a line under this failed experiment:
Speaking on RTE, the Donegal legend says immediate action is needed to save the game of gaelic football, which is now being dominated by an elite group of five or six teams:
"Now is the time for change. I just hope it's not too late," the 1992 All-Ireland medal winner states.
"We are losing counties every year. Even big counties like Roscommon and Meath... Looking at the back door draw, there is not a game you would be looking forward to.
"People told us that the reason for the back door was to help the weak counties.
"I don't know how they figured that out. It has only helped the stronger counties, and, at this stage, I doubt [the GAA] are even making money out of it.
"To me the whole thing is a mess at this stage, and the GAA should have a good look at the whole thing, at club and county level, to see where we are going.
"How many games have been played this year so far, and we have only had one good game, Tyrone-Donegal, that people are talking about.
"People have to make decisions, even for the sake of the next generation. It might already be too late because we have lost a lot of counties.
"There are only five or six counties there at the minute. If we lose one or two of those we could end up in a situation where football is less competitive than hurling.
"Are the weaker counties going to put in the work needed to get to the top or will they say it's not worth it?
"I would like to ask the GAA have they the wisdom to deal with this now. I have to say, in my opinion, I don't think they have."