Saturday 21 April 2018

CPA hit out at Duffy's plans for championship expansion

GAA director-general Páraic Duffy. Photo: David Maher/Sportsfile
GAA director-general Páraic Duffy. Photo: David Maher/Sportsfile
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

The newly-formed Club Players Association (CPA) want the Championship reform proposals being put before Congress by GAA director-general Páraic Duffy to be parked.

The proposal, which seeks to bring forward the conclusion of the Championships by three weeks, incorporate extra-time into all games except All-Ireland and provincial finals, and introduce a round-robin All-Ireland quarter-final series, adding six extra games to the Championship calendar, is going before Congress next month.

Already Kerry have expressed support for the changes, while Tipperary are also reconsidering after initially opposing it.

But the CPA, which met informally with Duffy last week, may have dealt a blow to the plans with their call for suspension until further consultation takes place.

Some 15,000 club players have signed up since the launch two weeks ago and, in a statement, CPA chairman Michael Briody outlined three matters which they feel precludes them from giving it support at this stage.

They want the formal recognition motion for the CPA to be passed first; they don't believe the reform package supports club players enough and is "detrimental" to hurling; and it pre-dates the establishment of the CPA without giving it an input.

And they want a fixtures think-tank with all key stakeholders.

"We are calling on Páraic Duffy to park his proposals, pending proper consultation," said Briody in a statement.

"We have had several informal discussions with Páraic at which we have exchanged views. We appreciate greatly Páraic taking time to meet us and recognise the legitimacy of the CPA. We have written to him to formally notify him, on behalf of club players, of the three matters that need immediate attention."

Briody contended in the statement that "if the current proposals are passed, there will be no realistic possibility to change until the 2019 season at the earliest. By then it could be too late. This needs to be sorted now."

In calling for a fixtures think-tank, the CPA want yet another report on this subject framed, one that will have their blessing.

"Their findings will outline the way forward to make our Association fit for purpose and serve the GAA for the next stage of its evolution and the challenges we all face," the statement added.

"Their remit will be to report back with a programme and principles that create uniformity and help county boards who are often unfairly in the firing line."

Duffy is due to publish his annual report to Congress this morning.

Read more: GAA director-general Páraic Duffy explains the role Bertie Ahern's governments played in the development of the Dublin juggernaut

Irish Independent

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