A tier two All-Ireland football championship has moved one step closer to reality with proposals set to be voted on at a GAA Special Congress next month.

The meeting to discuss the new competition will be held at Cork's Páirc Uí Chaoimh on 19 October.

Before the delegates will be a motion for the most radical reforms the Association has undertaken since the introduction of the All-Ireland qualifiers in 2001.

On Saturday the GAA’s ruling Central Council met to discuss two separate proposals, despite calls from the Gaelic Players’ Association (GPA) to delay their vote, and one was the clear winner.

If the Special Congress passes the motion, in 2020 only teams from Division 1 and Division 2 of the league will be eligible for the All-Ireland qualifiers along with any counties from the lower two divisions that happen to make their respective provincial final.

Division 3 and 4 teams will go straight into a tier two championship, which will be run on a straight knock-out basis.

Using 2019 as an example, only Division 1 and 2 teams reached provincial finals this year so the 16 teams from the lower divisions, minus New York, that were beaten in the earlier rounds would all drop into the tier two competition, which is being championed by GAA President John Horan.

This would mean only two full rounds of All-Ireland qualifiers in future as opposed to the current four, though a preliminary round is provided for in years where more than eight teams are eligible to participate in Round 1.

This is essentially revisiting the late and unloved Tommy Murphy Cup, which ran from 2004 and 2008 and was eventually killed by lack of interest from eligible counties.

The GAA are hoping to give every county a realistic shot at winning a trophy in Croke Park, though leaving the provincial structures untouched will do nothing to remove heavily lop-sided results in the early rounds.

Wicklow players celebrate with the Tommy Murphy Cup at Croke Park in 2007

Croke Park have also said that a range of a range of marketing and promotional supports will be committed to the new competition, as well as the use of GAA HQ for semi-finals and finals and a planned increase in TV coverage.

It remains to be seen how the GPA react to this news given that they were against a vote being taken on Saturday.

Also at the weekend Central Council meeting it was decided to forward three of the experimental rules that were trialled during this year's league.

They are, taking all kick-outs from the 20 metre line, rather than the 13, introducing a ten-minute sin bin for black-carded players, and awarding an attacking mark for a player who makes a clean catch of a pass kicked from outside the opposition's 45 metre line, that travels at least 20 metres and without touching the ground

It was decided to withdraw the experimental playing rule regarding sideline kick to be kicked forward.

Central Council also agreed to amend the scheduling of Super 8s for the final year of its three-season trial period in 2020.

In Round 1 of the group stage of the All-Ireland quarter-finals, the four provincial champions will be at home against one of the teams who came through the qualifiers as was the case in 2019.

It was also agreed that for 2020, Round 2 will see the winners of the Round 1 matches play each other, while the losers of the Round 1 matches will also face off. The aim of this is to avoid dead rubbers in the final round where possible.

At present there has been a round of games that are scheduled to take place at Croke Park.

It is now planned to give the authority to the Central Competitions Control Committee (CCCC) to fix these games for venues other than Croke Park if deemed appropriate. This would require the approval of a full GAA Congress and it is intended to bring forward a motion on this to Congress 2020 next February.

If passed, this would come into effect for the 2020 championship.