Ryan Byrne/INPHO CPA secretary Declan Brennan.
# The survey says
CPA members vote for secondary football championship ahead of talks with GAA
The organisation conducted a survey over the weekend.

THE CLUB PLAYERS Association (CPA) claim its members have voted unanimously in favour of introducing a secondary All-Ireland competition in Gaelic football.

Ahead of talks with the GAA later today, the CPA conducted a survey among its members over the weekend to assess opinion on a number of issues.

CPA members reportedly backed suggestions to introduce a tiered football championship with 72% in favour, while 56% of respondents indicated they’d like to see the provincial championships done away with.

The theory is that the tiered football championship would be marketed equally with the primary competition, would reduce the amount of one-sided matches and would give counties a “fair and reasonable chance of winning every year”.

More than 3,700 CPA members reportedly responded to the survey as the organisation continues to push for fixture reform in the GAA.

The organisation — which was established in January — currently has more than 25,000 members and wanted to “test players’ opinion on some of the key issues” before talks with the GAA.

A large majority of members (87%) voiced their dissatisfaction with how their club fixtures are currently being run, while 74% would like to see the All-Ireland club championships completed in one calendar year.

From that survey of its members, the CPA concluded:

  • 87% are not happy with the way club fixtures are run in their county
  • 71% favour a secondary football championship
  • 74% want the All Ireland club finals played before Christmas
  • 56% want the provincial championships scrapped (and replaced with a “fairer” national championship)
  • 84% want enforcement of rules so that clubs can appeal any breach of agreed fixture schedules
  • 45% said their club fixtures had already been disrupted in 2017

It has been reported in recent weeks that a Special GAA Congress will take place in October this year to introduce reform to the hurling championship for 2018.

Galway not having underage provincial competitions is among the issues being debated by hurling chiefs, while there is a fear that the small-ball game will be playing second fiddle to football in the height of summer when Gaelic football’s ‘Super 8′ series begins next year.

The CPA sees this proposed Special Congress as an opportunity for the GAA to consider its concerns around the management of club fixtures, the primary reason for the foundation of the CPA.

“Following the GAA’s recent announcement of fixture analysis of all counties, with a total of seven counties having been reviewed in two years, we are happy to engage with them to expedite a solution to the fixtures problem,” a CPA statement added.

“We believe there are solutions to these issues. We very strongly welcome the proposal floated for a Special Congress to consider a Hurling Super 8 proposal.

“We believe it provides an ideal opportunity to also consider the issues of club fixtures and it is something we have already called for without success.

“It would be inconceivable at this stage not to include the club fixtures issue in a Special Congress and have it achieve official status under rule thereby underlining the special status of clubs and their players in the GAA.”

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