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‘We have taken our two best products and taken them off the shop window for nine months’

Pat Spillane reckons the TV viewing figures for club games are “poor” in comparison to county action. Photo: Sportsfile© SPORTSFILE

Michael VerneyIndependent.ie

Kerry great Pat Spillane is adamant the GAA are scoring an “own goal” by taking inter-county action “off the shop window for nine months” of the year.

The eight-time All-Ireland SFC winner is “completely against the split season” between club and county as he feels the GAA is “giving the opposition a chance” to take over months that were previously dominated by county action.

“I’m completely against the split season,” Spillane told The Throw-In podcast at yesterday’s National Ploughing Championships in Ratheniska, Co Laois.

“We have taken our two best products, inter-county hurling and football, and taken them off the shop window for nine months.

“Now, when you take your best product out of the shop window for nine months, you give the opposition a chance. Maybe we’re not going to go as far as the third Sunday in September to play an All-Ireland final, but at least take back the month of August.

“And people say, ‘oh, you’re only saying that because you used to get paid for The Sunday Game’ and that’s a load of rubbish. I’m passionate about the GAA and a passionate GAA man, a passionate clubman and I like to see the GAA thriving.

“We’ve lost the month of August, we’ve lost the month of September and the main national papers are not talking about club matches. We’re not talking about club matches and we’re losing that opportunity for inter-county games, we need to change it. It’s an own goal.”

Spillane reckons the TV viewing figures for club games are “poor” in comparison to county action while also insisting that players like Kerry superstar David Clifford need to be on show nationally for a much longer period.

“It’s absolutely stupid playing an All-Ireland in the middle of July. The funds for grassroots come from the inter-county game so without a vibrant inter-county calendar, we’re cutting off our noses to spite our faces,” he said.

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