The GAA are set to review the schedule if not the structure of the Allianz Hurling League after they were impacted by the weather for a third consecutive season.
GAA president John Horan intimated that the current schedule for the hurling competitions of eight game-days in nine weekends for Division 1 was overly ambitious and is set to be addressed by the Central Competitions Control Committee (CCCC).
“The CCCC will definitely (look at it),” he said. “They have two years of evidence now and if you go back to the fixture review committee, they left a gap in there and that was probably the one area of dispute between themselves and the CPA (Club Players Association, who proposed not break weekend).”
With climate change becoming more obvious and the series of bad weather experienced at this time of year clearly not relenting, the GAA know they have to react accordingly, says Horan. “Look, we have had two weeks of weather now and our pitches are in great condition, but look at Portlaoise — it just can’t take it.”
MW Hire O’Moore Park had to surrender the Laois-Kilkenny Division 1, Group B game. Removing the quarter-finals in the new Division 1 format would free up a second weekend, something that is enjoyed by the football competition, which does not have scheduled round games this coming weekend.
Meanwhile, both Horan and GAA director general Tom Ryan confirmed that three football championship options are on the agenda for fixtures review task-force’s roadshow ahead of Special Congress this September.
The retention of Allianz as the sponsor of the National Leagues for another five years is not expected to impact on the proposal to flip the League into the summer and the four divisional system becoming the Championship.
However, the GAA would be compelled to reassess its sponsorship model were the radical plan to be adopted.