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'The very future of the GAA is at stake' - CPA renews plea to address fixture issues

The CPA believes the current crisis in the GAA is four-fold.

Image: Bryan Keane/INPHO

Updated Jul 29th 2020, 8:00 AM

A SPECIAL CONGRESS before the end of 2020 is among seven proposals set out by the Club Players Association [CPA] to the GAA in a bid to end the ongoing issues with fixtures.

The CPA has released a statement which claims that they have communicated with the leadership of the GAA in Croke Park on this matter but have not received a response yet.

“The CPA is of the view that the GAA needs to use its time to recalibrate the season,” the statement begins.

“To date Croke Park has not replied, we hope it is because they are taking time to review this material rather than ignore it. More than ever we need strong leadership, direction and action.

“The association was able to take swift and decisive action on fixtures as we faced the coronavirus threat. When coronavirus ceases to be a threat, the fixtures problem of our own creation will still be with us and will not have gone away.

The GAA has proven it can take decisive action, the question is now does it want to because faced with drop out, disillusionment and dissent, we need to stop this problem in its tracks, eliminate the problems at source and flatten the fixtures curve.”

The statement goes on to outline the CPA’s belief that the crisis in the GAA is four-fold and is divided into categories of fixtures, finance, a lack of central governance and a loss of its sense of identity as a community based Gaelic Games and culture organisation with the club at its core.

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The CPA is presenting seven proposals to the GAA to resolve these issues, which are as follows:

  •  Draft a national games program by designating periods to club, inter county and third level.
  •  Once the designated periods are agreed, design competitions to fit within those time windows.
  •  Such structures should be set out in a manner that will ensure that there will be no conflict for players between the various groups.
  •  Create a clear set of central control structures to include the enforcement of existing rules, creating new rules where needed and strictly applying appropriate sanctions for breaches.
  • Publish the proposed plan to all clubs so that they may decide on the outcome. 
  • To ensure a truly democratic result, authorize the holding of a national referendum of all clubs under which clubs will hold General Meetings to decide the outcome. There is a clear precedent in place for this process from 1971, when, with the authority of Congress, such a referendum was held to consider the deletion or retention of the foreign games ban.
  • Call a Special Congress, remote if necessary, before the end of 2020 so that any agreed change may be implemented in time for 2021. We ask that Central Council should rule, as is its authority under rule 3.38 TO 1, that there is full representation.

“The very future of the GAA which we all love is at stake,” the statement concludes.

“We are pleading with the Associations leadership at national level to take whatever remedial steps are necessary and with the utmost of urgency. As elected leaders and/or paid executives, our leaders have been given the responsibility to lead. 

“We are today calling on the leadership of the Association to give clarity to their members within the next two weeks on how they plan to resolve the crisis we have outlined above and if they are prepared to take on board our suggested solution.”

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