The motion to bring forward the All-Ireland finals in both football and hurling was passed by an overwhelming majority at Congress on Saturday, but the decision has infuriated RTÉ pundit Pat Spillane.  

The Kerry legend believes that a truncated season could ultimately diminish the relevance of Gaelic games, with other sports benefiting from the move.  

“I think it’s absolutely and ridiculous and stupid,” Spillane told viewers of RTÉ2’s Allianz League Sunday programme.  

“Do you know why? We’re taking our main product - inter-county football - out of the shop window for five months, which gives a clear run to the other rivals sporting organisations. The rugby and soccer.

“At the moment, rugby is pretty much all year around.

“It’s sexy, it’s in, it’s hot.

“It’s what the youngsters want to play, it’s drawing huge crowds.

“What drives a sport is the top teams, top players. Youngsters want to emulate them as role models.

“I think we’re cutting off our nose to spite our face by taking the game out of the shop window for five months.

“I think we need more, rather than less.

“But I think if you bring all the stakeholders together, from club to county board, to county managers, to provincial, to central council, I think you could have a fixture, that both could go hand in hand.”

One motion which didn’t garner nearly as many headlines, but which Spillane believes could have huge ramifications for rural clubs was the attempt to scrap an existing rule precluding players under 17 togging out for senior sides.  

With two-thirds majority required, it fell short, receiving just a 41% ‘yes’ vote.

“It’s the death knell for small, rural clubs who are struggling to field 15 fellas' at adult level,” Spillane lamented.

“It’s based on spurious grounds.

“Clubs are not going to be able to field senior teams around the county in rural, peripheral regions in the next couple of years because of this decision.”