Wednesday 26 July 2017

One strike and I'm out - Liam Griffin on new Club Players Association

Former Wexford manager rules out potential for CPA-backed ‘nuclear option’ over fixtures

Former Wexford hurling All-Ireland winning manager Liam Griffin would not support the
Former Wexford hurling All-Ireland winning manager Liam Griffin would not support the "nuclear" option of a strike by club players if their wishes for "seismic" fixtures change are not met in the future. Photo: Sportsfile
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Former Wexford hurling All-Ireland winning manager Liam Griffin would not support the "nuclear" option of a strike by club players if their wishes for "seismic" fixtures change are not met in the future.

Griffin was at the top table for yesterday's launch of the Club Players Association in Ballyboden St Enda's, home of the All-Ireland club football champions, where he was unveiled as a fixtures co-ordinator for the new movement that he says has been spawned from "positive discontent".

Griffin believes a few "sacred cows may have to be slaughtered" if a solution is to be found.

But players withdrawing their involvement is not something he would associate with, adding that he didn't imagine it would ever come to such an impasse.

"I want fellas to play games, I don't want to stop them playing games. I'm not a member of ASTI or a trade union or somebody saying 'the gates are locked and you can't go in'," he said.

"So I don't want to see a situation where we take games away, I want to work in a meaningful way. I am open to suggestion that you are a positive association and that you as a body want to see change.

"Now if you don't, you have got to be able to tell me 'I refute your facts and I won't do anything about it'.

"If that happens I don't know what will happen after that but I'm assuming that won't happen. I think we can improve the inter-county and improve the club at the same time in a parallel universe."

In a document circulated to county representatives last week one of the 'frequently asked questions' addressed the issue of potential strike action. The response definitely left the door open, suggesting "the CPA wants players to play but will not rule out any tactic that may advance the overall objective."

Griffin believes separate season for inter-county and club activity may be the solution, something the Gaelic Players Association has loosely advocated in the past.

"Maybe we'll come up with a championship whereby you'll play 'x' amount of inter-county and then there'll be a stop and you'll have two weeks and you'll play a round of club championship and so on. But it's very difficult to see you mixing the seasons," he said.

Griffin says he is getting involved because fixtures have always been an issue in his involvement with the GAA.

CPA architect Declan Brennan said at the launch that they would activate a 100-day plan to address concerns.

Irish Independent

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