Sunday 22 October 2017

GAA rulebook being shown blatant disregard: CPA

CPA Secretary Declan Brennan. Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
CPA Secretary Declan Brennan. Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

A number of counties are showing "blatant disregard" for the GAA rulebook in relation to club fixtures, the Club Players Association has claimed.

In a statement yesterday marking the 100th day since its foundation in early January, the CPA did not specify what counties they were referring to but it is believed to concern those who have sought to move local fixtures to accommodate training weekends for the senior inter-county squads.

Such practices are prohibited once the league finals have been completed in accordance with the GAA's rule 6.22 (b) and the CPA seem to suggest double standards in enforcement by comparison to other rules.

In these cases, they say "the rulebook appears to have been set aside with the attendant fixtures chaos underlining a blatant disregard for the rule book in an Association that applies the rule assiduously in matters of Congress, playing rules and player suspension." However, without a specific penalty it is difficult to enforce any rule surround training weeks or weekends.

The CPA - spearhead by secretary Declan Brennan (above) - has admitted there has been little progress on the issue of fixtures since their launch but the 25,000-strong group continues to strive for a solution. "While there has been a lot of opinion and discussion, there has been little movement on club fixtures. Congress made their decision on the Super 8, which we all now accept and have to live with.

plaster "There has been no attendant fixtures masterplan on the club game in 32 counties," a statement reads. "On that issue as GAA members, we are no further along or any the wiser in terms of an official plan. The problems remain and are being addressed in the usual sticking plaster fashion in individual counties whose volunteers are often ill-equipped to deal with the problems they face.

"In founding the GAA, Michael Cusack did not mention championships or leagues. His aim was in 'providing national amusements for the Irish people during their leisure hours'.

"The GAA offers competitions that many county teams have little hope of winning. If it is about winning, an individual club player's best chance of winning in the GAA is with their club.

"If it is about participation then the Association is failing when it deprives its own players of the opportunity to play, let alone win. If the Association is about its players, then it needs to provide for the majority of members the hope to participate and win," the statement adds.

Irish Independent

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