Counties could be booted out in club fixtures clampdown
COUNTY Boards have been warned that that they will be hit in their pockets, or possibly even suffer disqualification, if they make late switches to their local championship fixtures to facilitate their inter-county teams.
Late changes in the scheduling of club championship fixtures, usually due to requests from inter-county managers, are the bane of club players.
After receiving their club fixtures for the summer, they can often find the schedule disrupted in order to facilitate their county team.
But several amendments made to the official guide at last weekend's Congress in Derry have addressed this thorny issue, and Croke Park now has the power to intervene if counties break the new rules.
The most pivotal change is that each county's Central Competition Controls Committee (CCCC) now has the final say on match scheduling within their county.
Heretofore they made the master list but it could be subsequently changed by a vote of the county committee or board. This can no longer happen.
The penalty for non-compliance is the loss of inter-county championship expenses and/or grants, or disqualification from the inter-county championship concerned.
The GAA's director general Paraic Duffy said: "Fixture-making isn't easy, but there is no excuse for abandoning championships any longer. Central Council now has the power to go after counties. If a county abandons its championship, the onus is on us."
Separate motions from Cork and Wicklow which attempted to address some club-versus-county issues were defeated, but officials in Croke Park believe that the setting in stone of local championship fixtures should help solve many problems.