Cork are the latest county to vote in favour of Option B, a league-based championship, at this Saturday’s GAA special congress in Croke Park.
The county’s chief executive Kevin O’Donovan, a member of the Fixtures Calendar Task Force that produced the two options, listed for debate at the weekend, had already stated his support for Option B. On Tuesday night county delegates followed suit.
Cork join a list of counties who have declared their support for the proposal, which would switch the league into the summer and the provincial championships to the spring: Clare, Tipperary, Kildare, Longford, Louth, Meath, Offaly and Westmeath.
Kerry, Waterford and Laois will not mandate their delegates. Laois chair Peter O’Neill told Midlands 103 radio that they took the decision because of uncertainty over what would be on the final clár.
“We’re looking at it from a Laois point of view and our players have come forward; they want more games. They probably at the present time favour proposal B but from my meetings with Croke Park, it’s a complete moving tide and I don’t know what is going to be on the floor Saturday and that’s what I told the committee last night.”
On Monday night, former GAA president John Horan, who appointed the fixtures task force, suggested that Option A, the creation of four provincial-based groups of eight, be withdrawn for lack of support.
On Wednesday at midday, the GAA will hold a briefing session for media on the special congress and it will be interesting to see if GAA president Larry McCarthy or director-general Tom Ryan announce support for Option B or leave it run until Saturday.
The 60 per cent weighted majority necessary for a proposal to succeed is a high bar, especially as most Ulster counties are expected to oppose.
Whatever the outcome, it is expected that any new format will not be introduced until 2023 and probably for a trial period, as also advocated by Horan.
Meanwhile, despite reports that David Fitzgerald would be appointed the new manager of the Galway hurlers in succession to Shane O'Neill, there was no announcement from the county GAA to that effect on Tuesday night.