GAA officials have said they were prepared to accept a hit in revenues when taking the decision to abolish championship replays prior to the All-Ireland finals.

At the launch of the GAA's Master Fixture schedule for 2022, the association's director of player, club, and games administration Feargal McGill said they had taken the decision to dispense with replays except for All-Ireland senior deciders in order to help "reduce the footprint of the inter-county season" to better facilitate the club season.

The rule had applied during the two-Covid affected championships in 2020 and 2021 and is now being brought forward for future championships, though McGill says the roots of the decision go back further.

"This all goes back to five, six, seven years ago, where strategically we would have looked at the calendar and not been happy with the split between the time for club games and the time used for county games," McGill explained.

"It was also influenced to some degree by the ESRI report and the findings of that, that the commitment required to play the inter-county game was more and more significant.

"Those two things were behind the moves to tighten the inter-county footprint. Central Council are fully aware of the revenue implications for it.

"But they absolutely took the decision in the interest of players and in the interest of club players, in particular.

"We do know that there will be a financial knock on, but so be it. The association wasn't created to make money. It was created to provide games."

McGill said that water-breaks would remain in place for the time-being, at least for the upcoming league campaign.

The GAA are intent on reviewing the practice at the end of the pre-season competitions, though McGill didn't foresee much change to the status quo at that stage. A fuller review of the water-breaks would take place after the league to see whether they would remain in place for the championship.

As to whether the Covid-19 environment in 2022 will allow for a return to the pre-2020 championship format, McGill said the association were still intent on proceeding as planned and it could only react to government decisions as they're announced.

"It completely depends on government regulations, both north and south of the border. All we can do for the moment is put our best foot forward," he explained.

"Our plan is to complete the entire games programme again. If government regulations change, then we'll have to change. And it will all depend on when they change, to what extent they change, etc.

"It’s as simple as that. It’s keeping an eye on the environment around us. The one advantage we have is that we’ve been through this before and we’re used to thinking on our feet at this stage when it comes to Covid."