Tuesday 12 December 2017

CPA blueprint remains under wraps as 100th day looms

Declan Brennan, Secretary CPA, at the official launch of the Club Players Association. Photo: Sportsfile
Declan Brennan, Secretary CPA, at the official launch of the Club Players Association. Photo: Sportsfile
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

The 100th day since their launch falls tomorrow but the Club Players Association will refrain from releasing their fixtures plan to co-incide with a date that was pivotal for change when they initially set out their ideals on January 9.

CPA secretary Declan Brennan had outlined at the launch the importance of "turning things around" within 100 days.

The CPA have largely fallen silent since the GAA Congress at the end of February, ahead of which they registered their opposition to the introduction of the Super 8s.

But behind the scenes there has been significant engagement with key GAA officials, which is set to continue this week.

A pathway for where the organisation is headed may become clearer later this week, but publicly releasing their fixtures blueprint is not part of their plan.

That plan has been updated to incorporate the changes brought in at Congress which would see an extra eight All-Ireland quarter-finals in a round-robin format.

Former Wexford manager Liam Griffin and former Cork footballer Derek Kavanagh and groups they have been working with have been the main architects of the CPA blueprint, which is understood to be far-reaching and, in one proposal, inclusive of an All-Ireland intermediate football championship to cater for a second tier.

Dedicated

Dedicated weekends for club activity dotted throughout the season are also thought to be factored into their proposals.

However, the CPA do not intend to release the details ahead of a forum that they are still pitching for with all the main stakeholders.

Meanwhile, counties are continuing to blatantly ignore the GAA's rule 6.22(b) that prevents senior inter-county panels from going on training weeks or weekends abroad or at home once the League finals have been completed, unless they happen during the 13-day window prior to a Championship match.

Tyrone clubs were informed of schedule changes for third-round league fixtures this weekend because of the county team's planned trip within the country, with Omagh St Enda's leading the backlash last week.

Donegal were in New York to play two challenges games against the Exiles last weekend, while the Galway and Monaghan footballers are due to go to Portugal this week.

No specific penalty is listed for breaking the rule, making it almost impossible to enforce.

Mayo did, however, have to shelve a six-day training camp to Portugal in 2010 when GAA officials became aware of it in advance.

Because the League finals were completed two weeks earlier since the semi-finals were shelved, it gives little scope for counties to engage in training camps in the early part of the year.

Irish Independent

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