The "once-great" Leinster Championship is dead and in vital need of a renaissance, as a result of Dublin's domination of the Delaney Cup.
That is the view of former Westmeath player John Connellan, who said that the championship should be boycotted until there is a more fair distribution of funding throughout the province.
Dessie Farrell’s side completed a historic ten-in-a-row on Saturday with a comprehensive and facile victory over Meath to progress to this year’s All-Ireland semi-finals.
No other county has enjoyed such a prolonged run of domination in the province since Wexford’s famous six-in-a-row from 1913 to 1918, while Meath won five out of six in the late 1980s, early 90s.
The dominant Dublin side of the 1970s also completed the six-timer, while the current crop have wiped the floor with the province since the turn of the millennium and have won 15 of the last 16 editions of the trophy.
The last time the cup left the county boundary was in 2010 when Meath won it for the 22nd time, beating Louth in the final, and now Connellan wants a rethink.
If, after last night's Leinster Final you're as concerned about football as I am then you might want to give this open letter a read and tag your county's twitter pages. @officialgaa @gaelicplayers @westmeath_gaa @MeathGAA @KildareGAA @OfficialLDGAA @wicklowgaa @ShaneSaint pic.twitter.com/zOhhyVvhQW— John Connellan (@johnC_BL) November 22, 2020
In an open letter, posted on social media, Connellan stated: "Leinster football is, to all intents and purposes, dead. It’s not dying.
"It is a once-great competition that can no longer be considered a viable entity due to Dublin’s dominance.
"It is on that basis that I would call on county boards across the country, but more immediately in Leinster, to demand a fair allocation of centrally-administered GAA resources.
"The committee established under Seán Kelly recognised that the GAA in the Capital was under threat and it jumped to immediate and affirmative action.
"The GAA is failing to recognise, or is wilfully obtuse to the fact, that the GAA is, and has been, under serious threat in all of the other counties in Leinster for quite some time now.
"All we are asking is for the GAA to take the same action to address the threats faced by all the other counties outside the Capital which are every bit as important as those faced by Dublin GAA back in 2003."
Connellan highlighted the disparity in coaching and games development funding, Dublin receiving over 20 times that of Westmeath between 2007 and 2017, and listed some of the Metropolitans lucrative sponsorship deals, observing that while the Dubs had an official gear supplier, he and his team-mates had to buy their own leisure shorts before the 2016 Leinster football final.
While Connellan stated that he admires what Dublin have achieved over the past two decades, he feels that the GAA community’s inaction is failing the current crop and that the Dublin dominance is causing players to miss out on the objective of winning trophies during their inter-county careers.
"I will start this letter by saying that I am a huge admirer of Dublin. The work that has been done in the Capital over the last 20 years, on and off the field, has been immense and the Dubs are reaping the rewards of that human and financial investment.
"Dublin GAA is operating at an absolute optimal level on and off the field within the framework that the GAA has provided it, and that is all that any player/supporter can ask of their county board, team management and players. They deserve nothing other than enormous credit for that.
"As a competition, the Leinster Championship is broken and, this writer fears, beyond repair in its current form.
"It may be the case that, ultimately, drastic changes to the inter-provincial and All-Ireland structures, together with the fair allocation of resources, might not even be enough to bring football back from the brink. However, we must do something.
"Players across the country are being robbed of meaningful inter-county careers. As a GAA community, our in-action is failing them."
"I hope you can infer from the aforementioned is that Dublin GAA is now largely self-sustainable. It is on that basis that I would call on county boards across the country, but more immediately in Leinster, to demand a fair allocation of centrally-administered GAA resources.
"I would encourage all of the county boards in Leinster to come together and discuss potential proposals to bring to the GAA. I believe that we must all be united on this front if we are to cause the GAA to take any meaningful action.
"Failing the GAA’s agreement to make significant changes, I would encourage county boards to stop the practice of sending players, who give so much to the cause of their counties, to compete in a competition where they are set up to fail."