HomeFootball‘It might be tweaked for next year’ – Jarlath Burns begins inter-county...

‘It might be tweaked for next year’ – Jarlath Burns begins inter-county season consultation process and defends ticket price hike


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Speaking on Morning Ireland, Burns suggested it was the “condensed nature of the season” and the earlier All-Ireland finals that might be revised, as opposed to the split-season format itself.

Writing in yesterday’s Munster final match programme, provincial chairman Ger Ryan also wrote that there were “some improvements and changes we can make”.

“There’s two things here,” Burns outlined, speaking after the draw for this year’s Tailteann Cup quarter-final.

“There’s the split season, but there is also the condensed nature of the current season. And I think that’s what maybe causing a bit of anxiety. The games are coming so thick and fast that there isn’t time to absorb the mesmerising nature of some of the games because you’re straight into the next (game).”

“The split season was a compromise to the fact that our club players felt so strongly about the way the season had been structured, that they actually set up an association called the Club Players Association to address that,” Burns explained, reiterating the initial rationale for dividing the calendar into ring-fenced club and county periods.

“It was really to answer those concerns that they had, to give certainty to club players that they would know…the (club) championship was on a particular date, that date is not going to be moved regardless of how your own county does.

“In July alone, last year, there was 1174 club games played in Munster.

“Once the All-Ireland final is over, if you are a dual county, you have to allow 14 weekends to allow for your football and your hurling. We always have to have an eye on our dual counties because they are not a nuisance or a hassle – but they are the aspiration we should all want to attain.

“We should have a genuine football and hurling setup in every county. We have to be mindful of all of that but we are not blind and deaf to the calls that people would like to have later All-Irelands.

“Tonight in Limerick we begin the consultation process again with our provinces. We’re going to do one in each province over the next two weeks. We’re going to meet all of our counties, and we’re going to listen to what they say and who knows, it might be tweaked for next year.”

“It’s something we are looking at. We’re always listening to our members. We’re a democratic association. The split season, the condensed season was brought in because of pressure from our counties and pressure form club players.”

Burns also accepted that there had been “eyebrows raised” at the GAA’s decision last week to hike All-Ireland final stand ticket prices from €90 to €100.

Acknowledging that “it was a very big move for us to go to three figures,” he added, “but remember, it’s the first time since 2018 we’ve changed (prices). It’s only the second time since 2011.

“We all know where inflation has gone, but I think our members understand that 83% of everything we earn is ploughed right back into the game. We have 350 coaches, we’re spending €7m on those at the minute. That’s going to go up to €12m. We’re increasing that number, we’re actually giving them better terms.

“Over the next year we’re going to spend €5m on our county grounds. Last year we gave €3m to our clubs in grants. That’s going up to €4.5m next year and the year after up to €5m.

“If you have a child and you’re bringing your child to the National League matches it’s free into that. It was only €5 for a juvenile to get into all of the games in all of the championship matches so far.

“It is quite good value, but we do understand that €100 is a lot for an All-Ireland final ticket.”

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