Sunday 17 December 2017

Moyles insists CPA plan 'light years ahead' of current structure

Former Meath player Anthony Moyles. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE
Former Meath player Anthony Moyles. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

The Club Players Association are to consider putting their fixtures proposals into the public domain after this weekend's Congress with treasurer Anthony Moyles suggesting they are "light years ahead" of what is in place at the moment.

Initially, the CPA had intended holding back their ideas until they got sitting at the proposed think-tank that they hoped would happen in the event of Central Council's plans being "parked" as they had requested.

But with the proposals for an All-Ireland round-robin series edging towards the two-thirds mark, the prospect of them being carried has really accelerated this week and a think-tank looks a more remote prospect now.

With counties for and against 'super eights', as they have become known, by approximately a two-thirds/one-third ratio, their fate will effectively be decided by the international delegations flying in for this weekend's Congress.

The CPA now recognise, according to Moyles, that they will have to make their ideas public.

Former Wexford hurling manager Liam Griffin and former Cork footballer Derek Kavanagh are heading up a group within the CPA that have worked on three different proposals.

The premise is that there would be significant gaps in the calendar, even during the summer, where there would be no inter-county activity to allow for club activity to breathe and for both to run more concurrently than they do.

GAA director-general Páraic Duffy said at the launch of his report last month that he looked forward to seeing the CPA's proposals and it was "important" they did so.

"We were definitely not going to release them out before this weekend," said Moyles. "The feeling was, if you put it out there, it gets shot down very quickly.

"We would have three proposals that we're very keen on. Each of them has merits, each has their drawbacks. No one would admit there would be a silver bullet to sort it out. You get as close to it as you possibly can," he said. "There is going to be flexibility by some people, county boards, inter-county managers, club players, the whole lot.

"But the three we have, that Liam Griffin and Derek Kavanagh have been working on, are absolutely light years ahead of what's currently there," he said confidently, echoing Griffin's belief that they are better than the existing structures.

"Will we release those? Depending on how the weekend goes, I'd say we probably will," said Moyles, stating a meeting would be called among their executive to determine when.

"People will call it radical but eggs will have to get broken," he said.

Irrespective of how Congress goes this weekend, in relation to the fixture reform motions or the motions to formally recognise the CPA, the association will press ahead with its plans to have 50,000 registered members by the end of April.

"That's just a figure but it's a worthwhile target," said the former Meath footballer.

"Whether we were going to get formal recognition or not, it wasn't going to change the situation and our strategy and our focus over the next few months, which is to get our membership up, to make sure that we have a situation where we have the majority of club players in Ireland signed up to the CPA.

"We have various different stuff that we're going to do with the membership, canvass members, put a survey out to membership, go around doing a number of road shows, gauge that feeling on the ground.

"That's as much as we can control. In the meantime, if we get asked to come into a formal think tank, that would be great. We would still welcome that."

Moyles said he was disappointed that CPA representatives had been denied access to Congress to speak on motions to formally recognise them.

"I'd ask the question, why wouldn't you when you are representing 20,000 stakeholders," he said.

Duffy has consistently said that if there is a better proposal out there he would welcome it.

At the invitation of nine counties since last November he attended County Board meetings to explain the Central Council plan.

Two, Derry and Laois who have their own motion, are voting against it but Mayo, Tipperary, Armagh, Fermanagh, Galway, Westmeath and Meath are all supporting.

Leinster is the most divided province with Dublin, Kildare, Meath, Longford and Westmeath the only counties opting to back it so far.

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