Authorities content with current hurling format
No plans to look at six-team composition of top two divisions despite widespread criticism
There are no plans to review the format of the Allianz Hurling League despite the widespread criticism of the current format and Cork’s weekend relegation to Division One B.
“Not particularly,” was the response of Feargal McGill, the GAA’s head of games administration, when asked did the association intend to look again at the six-team composition of the top two divisions.
“We don’t see any need in that this season’s league has thrown up nothing we didn’t expect.
“One thing we felt was unfair was the situation which allowed an unbeaten team topping Division One B to miss out on promotion and that’s been changed for next year”
This has been the fate of Limerick in the past two years. Having topped the table they lost the divisional final and saw Clare, and this year Dublin, get promotion ahead of them.
Next year’s format will feature automatic promotion for the team that finishes top and quarter-finals between the first four counties in Divisions One A and One B.
Voices have been raised in protest by managers in a number of counties, arguing the six-team divisions were too small to generate adequate revenue and to encourage hurling development in those counties outside of the top tier.
There were comments last week speculating if Cork, one of the game’s traditional powers, got relegated the format would be changed to facilitate their return to the top. McGill says however that change is unlikely. “I’m not prejudging what Central Council might decide to do,” he said. “But January’s meeting which accepted the proposals by a sizeable majority was also of the view that the format shouldn’t be changed for some time.
“We’re also happy with the competitiveness of the first division – without doubt it’s been the most unbelievably competitive league we’ve ever had. One of the problems with some of proposals for a bigger Division One to accommodate more counties is that there has to be promotion and relegation, which would leave some hurling counties even more isolated than they feel they are in the current system.”