Saturday 23 September 2017

CPA's finance claims could spark tension with GAA HQ

GAA director-general Páraic Duffy. Photo: David Maher/Sportsfile
GAA director-general Páraic Duffy. Photo: David Maher/Sportsfile
Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

Croke Park and the Club Players' Association (CPA) could be heading for their first clash over claims that increasing revenue is a factor in the plan to replace the four All-Ireland football quarter-finals with a six-game 'round robin' series.

Central Council has already backed the proposal, which was drafted by director-general Páraic Duffy as part of a suite of measures. It will require a two-thirds Congress majority to be passed by Congress in Croke Park on February 25.

Central Council is also proposing that the All-Ireland senior football and hurling finals be brought forward by two weeks to provide more time for club activity.

However, the CPA wants both finals completed by the August Bank Holiday weekend. They stated at Monday's launch of the Association that Duffy's proposals don't go far enough to address the concerns of club players.

CPA secretary Declan Brennan suggested that the likelihood of increased income may have contributed to the thinking behind the 'round robin' idea.

"At the end of the day there's a lot of monetary interests here and they're trying to create a buzz around the August weekend to bring in money for the Association. Our club games are as entertaining and need to be brought to the forefront at a better time of year," he said.

Duffy has not responded to the comment about increased income but is expected to address it in his annual report which will be published later in the month.

Last October, he described claims that the 'round robin' was a money-driven concept as "lazy and cynical".

He said that if the reform package for the championships was motivated by finance, it would not have included a proposal to scrap replays.

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