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'The GPA have completely slept in on this' - Player body comes in for strong criticism

Oisin McConville and Jarlath Burns have hit out at the GPA.

THE FALL OUT from Congress continues.

pjimage Source: Inpho

The Gaelic Players Association (GPA) has been criticised for leaving it too late to declare its opposition to the ‘Super 8′ proposals, which were passed with flying colours at Congress on Saturday.

The GPA released a statement last Thursday morning voicing its official position on the matter – just two days before the motion went before Congress.

By that stage the vast majority of county boards had voted on the matter, and the motion was passed for a three-year trial with 76 percent of the delegates voting in its favour.

Páraic Duffy first put forward the ‘Super 8′ proposal on August 4, but on Saturday GPA chief executive Dermot Earley blamed last month’s “transition” of power as the reason for the “delay in getting it (GPA’s opposition) out there.”

Earley replaced Dessie Farrell as the face of the the representative body for inter-county players on 17 January, six weeks before Congress.

Dermot Earley Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Former Armagh footballer Oisin McConville believes the GPA dragged its heels for too long.

“The GPA have completely slept in on this,” McConville told the RTÉ Sport GAA podcast.

“This is something that has been in the public domain for some time, so if they are so dead against it, to come (two) days before and say we are not happy with it, that’s just not good enough.

“The most contentious is the fact that we are going to have a round-robin system for the quarter-finals. It is going to give the bigger counties a major advantage.”

Armagh delegate Jarlath Burns also hammered into the GPA last night.

Speaking on Off The Ball, Burns condemned the body for a lack of consultation with county squads.

“On February 8, three weeks before Congress, the GPA sent a WhatsApp to the county representatives – not even the individual players – and it was up to the representatives to send that then to their own players.”

General view of Congress Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Burns continued: “I think there’s a serious issue in here from the GPA as to how they actually didn’t properly consult with their players. How they didn’t properly present all of the facts and all of the constraints that were contained within this proposal and why this particular proposal was arrived at.

“To send a WhatsApp out to your players three weeks before the vote and then to say the players weren’t given a sufficient or meaningful consultation for me is a player welfare issue.”

Meanwhile the Club Players Association (CPA) have yet to comment on events since the weekend. They failed to poll the players before announcing their opposition to the ‘Super 8′ proposals.

McConville felt the recently formed body made a poor first impression on the GAA.

“The Club Players Association is the most contentious thing to come out of Congress. We do need some sort of representation, and I know we get that through our County board delegates but I just wish the CPA had not been born out of a Twitter campaign.

“I wish that CPA had gone about their business slightly differently. They were probably a little bit too aggressive. And they won’t get another chance to make a first impression,” McConville concluded.


Source: RTĖ Sport/SoundCloud

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About the author:

Kevin O'Brien

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