It is decision time now for Donegal GAA officials and clubs on whether or not to make changes to the All-County Leagues in the county.
A number of proposed changes to the current format of the All- County Football Leagues have been trashed out over the last months and at least one and a possible three new formats are expected to go before the annual Regulations meeting at the end of this month for approval.
The existing format, which is in place for the best part of 20 years, has been under review for the last month or so and in that time two meetings to discuss possible changes involving all involved - officials of the Donegal Competitions Control Committee, club officials, club managers and players - have taken place.
The last of those meetings was on Wednesday night while the first meeting was at the beginning of last month. At that first meeting a number of proposals were aired, among them was to increase the number of teams in Division One and Two from ten to 15.
While this would increase the number of teams in the first and second divisions it would reduce the number of game from 18 to 14, due to the move from a double round of games to a single round. Each team would play each other once - seven home games and seven away.
Another proposal which garnered a good deal of support at the first discussion was a 13 team Division One, Two and Three. This would again increase the number of teams in Divisions One and Two, but with a single round of games - six at home and six away - it would reduce the number of games by six from 18 to 12.
There were a number of relegation options from these formats discussed including the second and third from bottom play off to the more straight forward two up and two down.
A couple of more proposals were discussed at Wednesday night’s meeting, among them a proposal from the Naomh Muire club for a 16 team senior league, a 15 team intermediate league and an eight team junior league. The senior league would be made up of the 16 teams that qualify to play in the senior championship.
Promotion and relegation from the leagues would be a one up, one down basis.
This format is along the lines of that in neighbouring counties Tyrone and Derry and a number of others in Ulster.
The clubs have until next Friday, November 6th to submit their proposed changes to the secretary of the CCC, Declan Martin. These proposals, if more than one, will go before annual Regulations meeting on November 30th to be voted on.
There is a good deal of agreement within the clubs that change is needed and that was the general consensus from Wednesday night’s discussions.
But the prevailing view was that none of the proposals discussed addressed the real issue of providing games for club footballers at the height of the intercounty championship season in June and July.