Sunday 19 November 2017

CPA hold 'frank discussions' with senior GAA officials over fixture proposals

Declan Brennan, Secretary CPA, centre, Aaron Kernan, CPA Executive member and Grassroots Coordinator, left, and Micheal Briody Chairman CPA at the official launch of the Club Players Association at Ballyboden St Endas GAA in Firhouse Rd, Ballyroan, Dublin. The CPA are calling for all GAA Club members to register at www.gaaclubplayers.com to help Fix The Fixtures. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
Declan Brennan, Secretary CPA, centre, Aaron Kernan, CPA Executive member and Grassroots Coordinator, left, and Micheal Briody Chairman CPA at the official launch of the Club Players Association at Ballyboden St Endas GAA in Firhouse Rd, Ballyroan, Dublin. The CPA are calling for all GAA Club members to register at www.gaaclubplayers.com to help Fix The Fixtures. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

The Club Players Association have said that it has held 'frank discussions' with senior GAA officials over the reform of the fixture schedule with guaranteed periods of ‘club only’ matches during the season among their top priorities.

Reforming the fixture calendar was the CPA's key priority when the fledgling association launched earlier this year.

A motion proposing their official recognition by the GAA was withdrawn in the face of opposition at the GAA's annual congress at Croke Park in February, but the GAA now seem to be engaging with the CPA which claimed to have recruited over 20,000 members since January.

The CPA also said in the statement that they have engaged with the GPA to engage with the widest possible playing population whilst also calling on the GAA to proactively consider the playing load on players.

CPA Statement

We had constructive discussions with senior officials in Croke Park to set out the CPA’s detailed Fixture planning proposals.

This was with the aim of establishing common ground and agreeing some basic principles for fixture planning at national, provincial and county level. All are interlinked so an overall approach that helps each of these is essential in our opinion.

The discussions were frank and there will be further engagement in the coming weeks. Our briefing covered CPA fixtures options of which there are several approaches, and our draft principles for fixture planning. We have also met with the GPA with the aim of engaging the widest possible playing population.

Among the key areas in which we are seeking development, on behalf of club players across all codes and counties, are:

·  Changes on the timings and duration of the national league competitions

·  Guaranteed periods of ‘club only’ matches during the season

·  Movement towards a single calendar year for club competitions

·  Equal status for hurling in fixtures and season planning

·  Tighter timeframe for provincial championships

·  Fixtures enshrined in Rule and enforced properly

·  Movement towards tiered championships

·  Consultation with wider GAA membership on season planning

We believe progress in each of these areas will ease the Fixtures burden.

We believe that we can engage directly with our members through surveying and direct communication to gauge the response to some of the more difficult issues we face to help shape decision making.

We need to give members an opportunity for their voice to be heard.

We firmly believe that the GAA must proactively consider the playing load on players; the attendant training commitments and the physical and other consequences of too many or too few games.

Player welfare has been the basis of the CPA since Day One. Our players are the most important part of the GAA.

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