Spillane sees new calendar as an "own goal" for the GAA

December 05, 2021

Kerry legend Pat Spillane. ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne.

Kerry great Pat Spillane says the GAA have got the new playing calendar "all wrong".

With the calendar designed to give more prominence to the club game, next year’s All-Ireland senior football championship is set to be completed by the end of July.

Speaking on RTÉ's Sunday Sport ahead of the return of collective inter-county training this week, Spillane described the new calendar as an “own goal” for the GAA and something that needs to be addressed.

"Next year, for six months, there'll be no more inter-county football," said the eight-time All-Ireland winner.

"We're taking our high-profile games, which are inter-county football and hurling, out of the shop window for six months. [There'll be] no opportunity to generate money, no opportunity to generate a high profile for the game, for Croke Park, and for the players.

"I can see the idea behind a split season, and it's vitally important that the club and inter-county player is facilitated, but I think the real way to go is to alternate. That ensures all year round, top-class, high profile GAA.

"So, for example, for the first six months of the year you'd have club hurling and inter-county football; for the last six months you'd have club football and inter-county hurling.

"The following year you alternate it, which means GAA all the year round. I think it's a complete own goal for six months to take our high profile [off]. While club matches are brilliant, they're low profile, parochial, they don't have a national profile, or a revenue-generating capacity which we need for the association.

"I think we need to address the calendar."

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