Former Donegal footballer Brendan Devenney sums up the current inter-county scene as one of diminishing returns for many as those at the top table continue to thrive. 

Speaking on this week's RTÉ GAA podcast, the Letterkenny man contrasts the past to the present.

"Back in the day every team went out with a bag of balls on the pitch as they prepared for the league and probably just one game in the championship - but it's all so different now," he said.

"The revolution has been unreal. You won't get a 'breakthrough' team now like a Fermanagh or a Westmeath that can win silverware.

"The top teams now are so well tactically put together and are so well conditioned.

"If you look at the money machine behind the biggest teams in the country – Dublin, Mayo and Kerry - they are way ahead of the rest in terms of the revenue they can bring in.

"That ensures they will have an edge on the rest and that gap is only to get wider.

"The revenue that Donegal brings in is miniscule compared to Dublin."

"Are lads going to get up at 6am in the morning to go the gym to play just two championship games in a year?"

The lengths that the top teams go to to ensure that they remain at a high level only serves to highlight the widening gap that now exists with Devenney adding: "We have to give lesser teams a leg up in how we spread the finances. 

"Are lads going to get up at 6am in the morning to go the gym to play just two championship games in a year?

"That’s what the top teams are doing, they know they are going to be in Croke Park. That drives them to get up in the morning.

"What is happening now is that most county squad are not as strong, or not as well conditioned as the likes of Dublin.

"That is a real danger. We are not soccer, it's not about the team with the most money. The GAA is going down that route."