Tier Two final may not be paired with Super 8s game
THE first final of the new All-Ireland SFC tier two championship may have to be played as a standalone game at Croke Park - contrary to the GAA's promise on it.
The controversial tiered structure was sold to counties partly on the premise that the decider, which will definitely take place at Headquarters on July 18/19 next year, would be paired with a game from the Super 8s.
However, the GAA's fixture diary for 2020 - released yesterday – gives no guarantee that there will be a Super 8s game in Croke Park that weekend.
The tier two final is listed for the weekend of July 18/19 alongside the four games in round two of the Super 8s, which will not be set in stone until the winners from round one are known the previous weekend.
With the provincial champions having home advantage in the first round of Super 8s games, there's a very real possibility that there will be no Super 8s game fixed for Croke Park on the weekend of round two.
The venues for those games will not be set until after the first round of games is played the previous weekend.
If both provincial champions in a group win, then round two in that Super 8s group will be held at neutral venues.
However, if one or both of the provincial winners lose, then round two will work off home and away venues, with round three becoming the neutral round.
With CCCC having been given power to nominate a neutral venue other than Croke Park for all games, including the one involving Dublin, it leaves open the very real possibility that there will be no Super 8s game on the Jones' Road to pair the tier two final with.
It represents another significant blow to the tier two competition's credibility, before a ball has been kicked.
GPA CEO Paul Flynn said earlier this month that he wouldn't rule out a boycott after a survey of its members revealed two-thirds were opposed to it.