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GPA call controversial Cork club championship proposal 'not fair or sensible'

The proposal suggests Cork sides play a number of championship games without their county players.

A general view of Pairc Ui Chaoimh.
A general view of Pairc Ui Chaoimh.
Image: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

THE GAELIC PLAYERS Association has shot down a Cork GAA proposal which could see clubs in the Rebel County playing a number of games without their county players.

The proposal was one of three presented to club delegates at a Cork County Board meeting on Tuesday night. 

Options A and B would see games take place either side of the All-Ireland championship series, while option C suggested club championship group games go ahead in May, June and July for half the points. 

The GPA released a statement stating the controversial proposal is “not fair or sensible” while pointing out inter-county players are also “very proud club members”.

“It is not fair or sensible that the opportunity for GPA members to represent their clubs could be taken out of their hands as part of a proposed restructuring of the championship,” the statement read.

“We all understand that the issue of fixture scheduling and backlogs is complex and multi-faceted.

“The organisation of a club fixture calendar differs from county to county and there are a number of counties that facilitate a comprehensive club fixture schedule.

“The responsibility lies with the clubs in each individual county through their representation at county board level to guarantee that an appropriate programme of games is put in place to meet the needs of club players and one that also supports the ambition of their county players and their county team.

It continued: “All 2,300 GPA members are very proud club members. They are role models for their clubs on a national level with many also heavily involved in coaching, fundraising and administrative operations.

“At a time when the demands on inter-county players have never been greater, as highlighted in the recent ESRI report, the sense of pride for inter-county players remains strong.”

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Meanwhile, the Club Players Association have also spoken out against the proposal. 

The CPA posted last night: “Cork have acted in extremis in the absence of decisive direction from HQ.

“If a ‘weaker’ county pursued this option, club players from a strong club could simply opt out of county set up in favour of club action. In that case, county scene could be in jeopardy.

“The current All-Ireland club champions (and one of the greatest teams ever) had few players on their county panel last year. Now is the time to bring order to the system for club and county and get a fairer distribution of dates for all.”

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Kevin O'Brien

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