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CPA to use 'militant strategy' as survey reveals 80% of members don't 'feel they belong' to GAA

The club players’ body released a statement after a recent survey.

CPA chairman Micheal Briody.
CPA chairman Micheal Briody.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

THE CLUB PLAYERS Association [CPA] has stated its intent to adopt a more “militant strategy” as the GAA fixture calendar row rumbles on. 

More than three quarters of the CPA’s  members surveyed (77.12%) said that they would back a more aggressive approach from the organisation’s executive, according to a recent survey.

A statement from the CPA — which has 25,000 members — does not reveal exactly what action could be taken, but chairman Micheal Briody told RTÉ that its “version of a militant strategy is not a strike.”

The survey also revealed that almost 80% of CPA members who are involved in the club game around the country don’t “feel they belong” to the GAA. They feel a significant disconnect between grassroots club players and the wider association.

In November, the CPA withdrew from the GAA’s fixtures task force just days before the body was due to deliver to GAA hierarchy for a revamped calendar.

At the time, they claimed the task force was a ”trojan horse designed to give cover to GAA authorities to ratify the status quo while having the appearance of consultation and thoughtful deliberation.”

The recent survey also shows that 74.1% of club players are opposed to the retention of the status quo option put forward by the task force.

“The Club Players’ Association most recent members’ survey returns more data based evidence that radical change is needed very soon in the GAA,” a statement reads, with quotes from Briody within.

“Recent evidence of Donegal withdrawing from the McKenna Cup, Third Level games clashing with under 20 and inter-county just further proves the necessity for Central Council and Congress to adopt radical change in regard to redressing the Master Fixtures Schedule,” the Meath native and former St Brigid’s GFC man said.

It is unacceptable to the wider membership of the Association to continue to promote and develop the elite end of our games to the detriment of club, schools and third level competitions.

“The footprint of inter-county training and competitions is encroaching too much on other factions of the Association and the President and Director General need to lead the Association into this new decade with radical strategic change not further damaging incremental change”

The statement concludes with the CPA’s claim that the final outputs of the GAA’s task force were “disappointing as there were so many better options not considered because some vested stakeholders were unwilling to compromise.”

“We are in the course of contacting major sponsors of the GAA and asking them to support what is right for everyone not just the few,” it adds. 

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“It is the people in the clubs of the country that are the customers of these large sponsors and we are expecting them to bring influence to the corridors of power in Croke Park.”

- Updated 10.09

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Emma Duffy

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