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Dublin: 3°C Wednesday 14 April 2021
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GAA club players group slams 'Super 8' football proposal and hits out at RTÉ coverage

The players group is not happy ahead of GAA Congress.

THE CLUB PLAYERS Association have again hit out against the new GAA ‘Super 8′ proposals to revamp the All-Ireland senior football championship.

A general view of Croke Park ahead of today's matches Croke Park will host GAA Congress next weekend. Source: Tommy Grealy/INPHO

The proposals will be voted on this weekend at the 2017 GAA Congress in Croke Park but the club players group – which was officially launched in January – have expressed their fierce opposition.

The CPA have also criticised RTÉ coverage last Sunday of the motion, describing it as ‘blatantly’ promoting one side of the debate.

Posted by on Wednesday, 14 April 2021

In addition the body revealed that they have been denied the chance to speak at GAA Congress to air the views of their membership, which consists of over 20,000 players.

“Once again we ask, why can these proposals that have been promoted so aggressively and single-mindedly by the GAA not be parked, so that we can get the right solution in place for our players?”, stated CPA chairman Micheál Briody in a statement.

““We wrote to the President as required under rule 3.35 to formally request the right to speak at Congress on behalf of over 20,000 members. He has replied denying us the opportunity to speak stating it would be inappropriate.

“The Uachtarán in doing this has ignored the will of more than 20,000 CPA players. This was not unexpected, it is disappointing, but it doesn’t change our single minded approach in representing all our members.

Kevin Nolan, Declan Brennan, Michael Briody, Aaron Kernan Micheal Briody (second right) at the launch of the CPA in Dublin last month. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

“This isn’t about granting us speaking access. It’s about fixing fixtures. In effect, the proposals will create an elite ‘Super 8′ of counties, and it does nothing for the plight of the club player in those counties. It also does nothing for hurling.

“We have called the GAA to take on board other stakeholders’ views. They agree with us on that, as they say they are canvassing county boards for their fixtures issues. Surely common sense must prevail here? It’s about what’s right, not who is right.

“Ahead of this weekend’s GAA Congress we are pleading with our county representatives to consider carefully the implications of the championship proposals.

“They are already groaning under the financial weight of running county teams. Over €23million at least was spent nationally last year. The proposed Super 8 idea adds more time, more costs and doesn’t help solve the issues of club fixtures.”

Aaron Kernan, Declan Brennan and Michael Briody Declan Brennan (centre) is the founder of the CPA Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

The CPA is seeking official recognition at Congress this weekend with motions on the agenda concerning that matter from the Tipperary and Wexford county boards.

“Players throughout the country have watched in growing frustration and increasing anger as their views have been systematically ignored,” outlined Bríody.

“They have waited to see concrete club fixture proposals coming from the GAA. We have met Páraic (Duffy) and asked the question repeatedly ‘if not now, when will the GAA address the issue of club players and the fixtures programme?’ There has been nothing forthcoming for the club player.

“On Sunday night players watched as the Sunday Game blatantly promoted one side of the problem. The fact that RTÉ are a sponsor of the Championship and therefore had a conflicted interest wasn’t lost on our members as RTÉ licence payers.

‘We can’t understand this reluctance to consider every alternative. This problem won’t fix itself.

“Our agenda is simple, and it’s not about financial demands, or commercial endorsements, or putting in requests for equipment or nutrition to county boards as has been suggested.

“It is about players playing games. That is what the GAA was established to do. That’s what players want to do.”

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Fintan O'Toole

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