Controversial 'Option C' rejected by Cork clubs

Controversial 'Option C' rejected by Cork clubs
Kevin O’Donovan, CEO, Cork County Board speaking at last nights Cork County Board meeting at Páirc Uí Chaoimh. Included are from left, Joseph Blake, PRO, Mark Sheehan, vice-chairman, Tracey Kennedy, chairperson and treasurer Diarmuid Gown. Picture Dan Linehan

CORK players will still be available to their clubs in championship for the next two years after a proposal to restrict their involvement was heavily defeated in a vote at a county board meeting at Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Tuesday.

Clubs decided by 136 votes to 52 to kick the controversial Option C 'summer games' to touch and went for the conservative Option A 'April and August' instead. Option B got 33 votes.

There will still be a new format, similar to the Champions League in soccer, in 2020 and 2021 with three groups of four teams each.

There will be one game in April and the remaining two group games in August to determine the quarter-finalists.

There will be four grades, premier senior, senior A, premier intermediate and intermediate with every club guaranteed a minimum of three games.

It's an increase of one on the current much-maligned system though the scheduling is roughly the same which is likely to lead to the usual exodus of students to North America and beyond for the summer.

The nuclear option of clubs playing two games without Cork players during the summer proved a bridge too far for many.

Option C had four groups of six teams which would have provided five games, one in April, one or two in May or June depending on Cork's progress and two more in August.

The prospect of four teams of six in either group advancing to the knock-out phase didn't entice clubs enough to support the proposal.

Option B 'August only' which contained four groups of three teams and just two games to be played that month received little or no support.

Delegates voted by 118 to 98 to grade teams on results from 2016 to 2019.

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