CPA reveal plan for more 'exclusive club weekends' as part of National Fixtures Master Plan
CPA chairman Micheál Briody revealed plans for more 'exclusive club weekends' as part of a National Fixtures Master Plan to be implemented next season.
Briody, who was nominated as the CPA's chairman back in January, said that GAA officials have given the CPA verbal assurances that club players' needs will be catered for in the master plan and that the association also plan on meeting with the CCCC to discuss further proposals.
A CPA statement read:
“This weekend's Special Congress provided an ideal opportunity for the GAA to formally establish a National Fixtures Master Plan. Club players have a reasonable right to ask that the ongoing club fixtures issues should be dealt with comprehensively and incorporated in rule in the official guide.
“At the 2017 Congress we witnessed the adoption of the Super 8s and now as an afterthought, hurling has been added to the agenda, requiring a Special Congress. This is an example of further disjointed management and incremental change in the GAA calendar.
“Having met with senior officials last Friday in Croke Park, we again expressed our serious concerns at this approach.
"1. They have committed to producing a National Master Fixtures Plan by the end of October 2017 for the 2018 season. They have given us a verbal assurance that the repeated CPA requests focusing on the needs of club players will be reflected in this plan by delivering more exclusive club weekends and by adding certainty to the calendar.
"We look forward to this development and the publication of the National Master Fixtures Plan which we will judge on its merits when it is produced. We will give our feedback then on behalf of the GAA Club Players.
GAA Mgmt assured CPA that Special Congress & their new GAA calendar will address concerns of Club Players. We look forward to the outcome. pic.twitter.com/HJc4qUaoW0— ClubPlayersAssoc (@ClubPlayerAssoc) September 27, 2017
"2. We have been offered the opportunity to meet with the CCCC and present further proposals to them based on our own analysis, research and planning. It is our intention to avail of this opportunity in the coming weeks to help improve the club situation by engaging fully with the CCCC as often as is necessary on behalf of GAA Club Players.
"We will be targeting Congress 2018 to be the Congress that will change the landscape for the club players and the CPA will be working with all of our members in the meantime to profess that change from the Grassroots GAA."
Last month a CPA survey revealed that almost two-thirds of club players considered walking away from the GAA because of a definitive fixtures schedule at grassroots level.
Briody said that the results surprised the CPA executive and that the GAA need to do more than just provide lip service on club issues.
“Can you imagine being a manager of a panel of 30 players in a junior club in rural Ireland and 60 per cent of them are considering leaving?” said Briody of the survey results. “That leaves you with 12 players next year and maybe no club. And yet Croke Park don’t see fit to address the problem.
"They have closed the door on the CPA and are not considering our proposals or any meaningful club friendly proposals of their own so we asked our members should we escalate our response to demonstrate that the club player is dissatisfied. And 95 per cent of them responded with a resounding ‘Yes’ and we received 246 opinions on how that escalation should take shape.
“It’s time for all decision makers in power in the GAA to walk the walk and stop just talking the talk when it comes to clubs."