Sligo LGFA is set to contest the county football team’s automatic relegation from the TG4 All-Ireland intermediate football championship following the group stages of the competition which concluded last weekend.
Anthony Brennan’s side finished bottom of Group D after losing their two group games to Cavan and Tyrone.
They thought they were facing a relegation play-off – but a new rule granting provincial championship winners exemption from the relegation play-offs should they finish bottom of their group appears to have automatically relegated Sligo to the junior grade next season without a play-off ball being kicked.
The original intermediate championship format decreed that the bottom-placed team from each of the four groups would contest relegation semi-finals – with the two losers making the drop to junior championship football next year.
However, the LGFA introduced a additional rule this year granting an exemption for any of the four provincial champions from relegation, should they finish bottom of their group.
This has happened to two of the provincial winners, Leitrim (Connacht) and Kildare (Leinster) – and leaves just two bottom-placed teams: Down (Group B) and Sligo (Group D).
Both Sligo and Down were preparing for a relegation play-off on Sunday, June 26th, but they’ve now been informed that both counties are relegated to the third tier of championship football.
Down and Sligo played just two championship games this season.
Were Sligo to be relegated to junior football next year, it would leave just two counties, Leitrim and Roscommon, contesting the Connacht intermediate championship in 2023.
There is currently no Munster intermediate championship as Clare are the sole county operating at this grade.
The Central Council of the LGFA will meet next Tuesday (June 21st) to make a final determination on the matter.