As the Super 8’s draw closer, many are exhaling sighs of relief that things could finally get interesting in the world of Gaelic football, after a weekend of, well, rather boring provincial championship finals.
Yet critics are continuing to hit out at the details of the experimental new format, which kicks off on the 14th July. Along with the complaints from Kildare today, who lost home advantage for their game with Mayo due to capacity issues, many are also citing the home advantage Dublin are going to get from playing two games in Croke Park instead of one.
In the new format, every team in the final eight will have a home match, an away match and a game at Croke Park. Dublin are set to play at the headquarters twice, however, their home game will be held at Croker, as well as their neutral game.
Colm Parkinson hit out at the advantage being given to the newly crowned Leinster champs on the GAA Hour podcast recently.
“Their game at Croke Park (the neutral game) is allowed but their home game should not be at Croke Park as well or else you’re just giving Dublin – a team that doesn’t need any advantages – the advantage.” Paraic Duffy, who was interviewed by Parkinson for a podcast last year, admitted that the two home games were going to be an advantage for the Dubs.
“The Director General of the GAA says, ‘that gives Dublin an advantage’. But they’re going to do it. Isn’t that unbelievable?” Parkinson said in the podcast.
Those who are criticising the decision are pointing at the GAA for trying to soak up extra revenue by having the reigning champions play in Croke Park for the home game, rather than Nowlan Park or Parnell Park.
The association is also set to have accusations of money grabbing doubled after today’s Kildare announcement.
“Dublin would have no problem leaving Croke Park. This is not a Dublin issue; this is a GAA greed issue, where they’re going to milk Dublin because they can pack out Croke Park for a big game.” Parkinson said.
Dublin football fans, in their plenty, don’t see why they should need to travel to a smaller venue when not only is Croke Park at their doorstep, but more of them can fit in.
And while we can criticise this, we can’t disagree with their point of view. If Kerry or Galway had a stadium as big as Croke Park they would probably rather have their home game there as well, even if it wasn’t entirely fair.