GAA commercial director Peter McKenna admits a behind-closed-doors championship is the "least preferential" scenario as they seek to play off this year's competition within the calendar year.

Provincial championships are due to start in October, with no certainty around what number of spectators can attend games.

Yesterday's decision to halt entry to Phase 4 of the Covid-19 roadmap means less than 200 people can attend outdoor events into mid-August. Halting the spread of the virus will be crucial for allowing competitions to take place and if any fans can be present.

Speaking on the Today programme on RTÉ Radio 1, McKenna told Sarah McInerney that there are a range of options for Croke Park.

He said: "Everyone is hopeful for games to start again in October. We are prepared for them to start again. Obviously the 200 limit is still continuing and that would make a huge challenge but I’d be hopeful that we are responding very well as a nation to what NPHET are putting down.

"I think once you start to unravel the restrictions you will see slightly bigger crowds within the stadium. At two metres distancing we are probably at around 7,000 capacity within the stadium. That is very, very small really.

"At one metre we are probably at around 22,000 and if we are allowed a degree of brush off – by which I mean people walking by each other in the same row – we could probably get up to 28,000.

"You’d be hopeful that come October we might be allowed 30% or 40% capacity in the stadium. But it is very much dependent on where NPHET see our progress as a nation."

GAA president John Horan told The Sunday Game earlier this year that a scenario of matches without supporters was not enticing to the organisation.

He said in May: "I have a bit of an issue with the closed doors concept. If it is safe enough for the players to be in close contact on the pitch, then it is going to be safe enough to have a certain number of people in the ground gathering

"I don't think behind closed doors is going to happen to be honest with you."

However, McKenna believes the measure can be pursued if necessary.

"I think it is the least preferential. The thing about our games is they are very much about crowd being there and enjoying it. That is why the club championships have started first.

"Okay, they are restricted to 200 people. In small villages that will accommodate them but when you look at some of the bigger clubs in some of the cities, that is going to be a challenge.

"I’d hate for it to be behind closed doors, but if the championship starts, I guess we’ll need to finish it. We’d like to finish it this year if we could. The preference would be to not have it behind closed doors, but we will if necessary. It would very much be the last resort."

The Croke Park director confirmed they have already planned for how to deal with the various levels of attendances that are on the table.

"We’ll look at regulated entry into the stadium so people need to come earlier and take their seat earlier. It isn’t so much about how people interact in the stadium, it is on the roads outside.

"You don’t want people coming at the one time. We need to careful and watchful of that and public transport and how people get to Dublin, depending on what teams are playing.

"We will do that liasing closely with the National Transport Authority, working with the Gardai and just putting in place [regulations]." 

The GAA is in discussions with broadcasters around televising games, and looking at how they can bring more to the public if spectators are not permitted to attend. 

McKenna added that current agreements could be altered: "We working closely with RTÉ and our partners with Sky on how we can make the games available the most people as possible.

"We're doing a lot of experimentation with club championships on streaming games so if the games are next picked up on a national broadcaster, how can we get the game out so people can watch it online? In the next couple of weeks we'll learn a lot about that."

He also said the online platforms could enter the argument for the next round of broadcasting rights next year.

Improvements to technology and broadband have meant streaming will be a "important part" of this, he said.

"Streaming is going to be an important part of what we do. It makes games accessible, not just to those that like to go, but people abroad as well.

"Any of the online companies [could enter the market], it would not be unusual. It is the way of the future and a challenge for traditional broadcasters, there is no doubt."

The planned Eid Al Adha event at Croke Park - which is due to take place on either 31 July or 1 August - will likely now be limited to 200 people due to Government guidelines.

He said hosting the event at Croke Park is a "fantastic gesture".