Jarlath Burns says GAA calendar could be "tweaked" as he defends All-Ireland final ticket price hike

GAA President Jarlath Burns
-Credit: (Image: ©INPHO/Nick Elliott)

GAA president Jarlath Burns has said that the inter-county calendar could be tweaked for 2025 ahead of a two-week consultation process regarding the Championship schedule.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland programme on Monday after the Tailteann Cup quarter-final draw, Burns revealed that he’ll visit all four provinces over the coming fortnight to gauge opinion on the spit season.

There have been calls for the All-Ireland finals to return to their traditional September slots with many feeling the inter-county season in its current guise is too rushed. However, a move to August is much more likely, with Burns stressing that dual counties need 14 weekend to complete their club Championships.

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"This season was a compromise to the fact that our club players felt so strongly about the way the season had been structures, that they actually set up an association called the Club Players Association to address that," said Burns.

"It was really to answer those concerns 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.

"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; 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 (Monday) 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, we're going to listen to what they say and who knows, it might be tweaked for next year."

Burns also defended the decision to hike the price for a ticket for the All-Ireland finals to €100, although he admitted that he “understands” some fans will find the cost too expensive.

Stand tickets for the All-Ireland finals increased by €10 with terrace tickets increasing by €5 from last season.

"I understand that there will be certainly eyebrows raised at that,” added Burns.

"It was a very big move for us to go to three figures, 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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