GAA Football

Tier Two final must be played on All-Ireland day to succeed: Tipperary boss Power

Tipperary manager David Power believes the tier two championship is doomed to fail.
Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

TIPPERARY manager David Power believes the tier two championship is doomed to fail, saying that the final must be paired with the senior All-Ireland decider if it is to succeed.

Power, who says he is broadly in favour of the idea of a tiered structure but not as it has been imposed, believes the GAA have already undermined the idea with their scheduling of the inaugural championship.

A promise had been made before the vote at Congress that the tier two final would played alongside a Super 8s game, but the GAA’s fixture diary for 2020 gives no guarantee that there will be a Super 8s game in Croke Park that weekend.

That means the tier two final could potentially be played at as a standalone game at the venue.

Power, whose team play Derry in a crucial Division Three tie on Sunday, believes the fact that it wasn’t originally put on the platform beside the tier one final means the new structure will not work.

“If tier two is going to work, the final has to be played with the tier one final. End of story.

“What are Croke Park at? They’re obsessed with changing rules. There’s an obsession with change, and now they’re going after hurling with sin bins and everything.

“There is definitely a case to have tier two, I’m not against tier two. But if you are in tier two, if things are going to be done right, the tier two final has to be played with the tier one final.

“Otherwise I think it’s a waste of time.

“It’ll be another All-Ireland ‘B’ or Tommy Murphy Cup, for that reason.

“Are the GAA not worried about what’s going on – look at all the players that have left the different counties. There’s no incentive.

“They can’t see they’re gonna put in all this training to play in a tier two championship that’ll be over in a couple of weeks, you might be playing in Portlaoise or Breffni Park, that you’re not even guaranteed to be playing in Croke Park.

“I can see where the players are coming from – what’s the point? I’m still in favour of the tier two, but I’m not in favour of the way it’s being done at present.”

Power believes that the tiered structure that will come into play this summer should not have been introduced, and instead favours a round-robin system 32-team system that does away with the traditional provincial championships.

“It’s sticking out like a sore thumb – a Champions League format. You see what hurling has done with their provincial championships, though they’ve been able to do it because of their numbers.

“In theory, it’s two groups of five, with the names of Munster and Leinster, and then the All-Ireland. That’s after working.

“We should have a Champions League format, the top two in each group go through to tier two, the bottom two goes into tier two.”

He brings his side up to Celtic Park on Sunday knowing that a win would leave them well set, although their next game is at home to league favourites Cork.

Power feels that if the Rebels do start to pull clear at the top, as is expected, the race for the second promotion spot – and ultimately a place in the tier one championship - will become a vicious dogfight.

Down missed out on promotion last year on score difference despite finishing with 10 points from five straight wins, but the Tipperary boss believes there could be even more twists and turns this year.

“I think it’ll go to the last day. There will be twists and turns, and I’ve been saying anywhere from seven to nine points could get you second place in this league.

“Teams will take points off each other. The draw is gas, Cork have Down and Derry at home, and that’s a huge swing. If they’re away to those teams, it’s different.”

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