Duffy believes new All-Ireland SHC format is here to stay

October 02, 2017

GAA director-general Paraic Duffy.
©INPHO/Tommy Dickson.

GAA director-general Paraic Duffy expects the new All-Ireland SHC format voted in at Saturday's Special Congress to be extended beyond its three-year trial period.

Duffy doesn't envisage the GAA ever reverting back to this year's format after the Central Council motion received 62% support, which means the Liam MacCarthy Cup will be reduced to 10 teams - five in the Munster championship and five in the Leinster championship - with both provinces played off as a round-robin group. The top two teams in each group will progress to the provincial final with the winner of that going straight in the All-Ireland semi-finals and the losers going into the quarter-finals.

The third-placed team in each province will play one of the top two teams from the newly-created Tier 2 championship in a preliminary quarter-final, with the two winners progressing to the quarter-finals.

"I'd be surprised if it's the status quo," Duffy replied when asked if the old football and hurling championship formats would return.

"I think it might be something different. For example, we might look at tiered championships in football and stuff like that. I'd be surprised if we go back to the status quo, but it could happen.

"Clearly there's a strong majority of over 60 per cent in favour of change in both football and hurling and that's a good starting point.

"These are trials and nobody will feel the slightest bit put out if in three years' time, there's a far better way of doing it. These are experiments, and if in three year's time, there's a better way, we'll be all for it."


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