Championship proposals for change ratified

Story by Conall Collier

Monday, 7th January, 2019 9:19pm

Championship proposals for change ratified

Conor O'Donoghue (left) and Seamus Kenny at tonight's Co Board meeting

Meath Co Board chairman Peter O'Halloran urged delegates to support the proposals for changes to the structures of the various football championships at senior, intermediate and junior grades at the first meeting of 2019.

Nobber delegate Larry McEntee was supportive of the new format with the exception of the relegation schedule that would see half the teams in the SFC and IFC involved with play-offs.

"It should be confined to the bottom team in each group solely," suggested McEntee.

Bective delegate Paddy McConnell proposed that the championships should remain in the current format. 

"It will make it more difficult for the smaller clubs if we reduce the number of championship games," he said.   

Navan O'Mahonys delegate Liam Kerrane supported the Bective proposal while Simonsown delegate Pat O'Reilly indictaed that his club was in favour of the proposed new format.

"We would have concerns about when some of the championships would start, that's our main concern," stated the Simonstown delegate.

Dunshaughlin delegate Paddy Ward suggested that changes were required.

"We cannot sit idly by and hope that things will improve, we need to address the issues and the challenges and reduce the numbers," he stated.

"There is no point in having a quanity of games of low quality, we can't go on like this and expect to improve standards," he added.

Rathkenny delegate Barney Allen took issue with the proposed title of Premier for the championship that would be introduced for second and third teams.

St Brigid's delegate Michael Heery urged clubs to support the proposals.

Following a vote on the amendment put forward by the Bective delegate, the proposals for change were ratified on a vote of 45-18 while an amendment put forward by the Nobber club in relation to relegation was unsuccessful.  

The format for the football championships shall be as follows.

Three teams shall be relegated from SFC to IFC in 2019,  The intermediate football champions of 2019 will be promoted to SFC for 2020

Relegation from SFC shall be decided as follows - the teams that finish in fifth and sixth places in each group A,B, C each play one relegation game. The loser of each game will be relegated to IFC for 2020.

The draw will be pre-determined as follows - A5 v B6; B5 v C6; C5 v A6.

In the event of a relegation game finishing level, extra-time will be played and if still level then the game will go to a replay.

Intermediate football champions of 2019 will promoted to SFC for 2020.

There shall be no relegation from Intermediate Football Championship for 2019.

The 2020 IFC shall consist of 20 first teams. 

To ensure this happens the two best placed Junior Football Championship first teams in 2019 shall be promoted to the IFC for 2020.

This shall include the 2019 JFC Champions (if a first team) and the JFC runner-up (if a first team). 

If necessary a play-off shall take place between the beaten JFC semi-finalists (if first teams).

Any second team competing in the 2019 IFC shall be regraded to a new Premier A grade for 2020.

No first team shall be relegated from Junior Football Championship in 2019.

All second teams competing in JFC in 2019 shall be regraded to the Premier A grade for 2020 although the title of this new Reserve Championship may be changed.

All first teams competing in Junior B Football Championship for 2019 shall be upgraded to Junior Football Championship for 2020 unless they apply to be graded to the new Premier grade.


B LEAGUE

Following the completion of the 2019 B Football Leagues all teams in Div 1 plus the Div 2 finalists or any team that applies or is invited, up to a maximum of 12 teams shall be placed in a new A FL Div 4A for 2020. At the end of 2019, the final standings of B FL Div 1 will be used to determine promotion and relegation. 

B FL Div 1 will be known as Div 4A and Div 4 will be known as Div 4B 

At the end of 2019, the top two teams from Div 4A will be promoted to Div 3, the bottom four teams from Div 4A will be relegated to Div 4B and the top four teams from Div 4B will be promoted to Div 4A.

FROM 2020 ONWARDS

SENIOR FC

For the 2020 SFC there shall be six championships at adult football level in Meath - senior, intermediate, junior, district, u-21, premier (at various grades).

The SFC shall contain 16 teams drawn in rotation into four groups each containing four teams.

The top two teams shall progress to the quarter-finals, the bottom two in each group shall contest the relegation quarter-finals.

INTERMEDIATE FC

The IFC shall consist of 20 teams drawn randomly in five groups each containing four teams.

The top two teams in each group shall contest the relegation knock-out stages in a predetermined draw.

JUNIOR FC 

The Junior Football Championship shall consist of the remaining first teams.

Following completion of the affiliations each year, the format of this competition will be finalised.

The winner of the JFC each year shall be promoted to IFC the following year. There shall be no relegation from JFC.

PREMIER GRADE (POSSIBLE NAME CHANGE)

The Premier Club Football Championships (second, third teams) shall be graded in Groups of eight with the top four teams in each group qualifying for the semi-finals of each grade.

DISTRICT CHAMPIONSHIP

A District Senior Football Championship shall be organised. This competition shall contain at least eight independent teams from clubs from the intermediate and junior grades.

The District Championship shall commence after the IFC and JFC are completed. Independent teams shall be ratified before 28th February annually.

Players from clubs that have won IFC and JFC titles may opt out of District Championship while involved in Leinster Club Championships.

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