'Stand up for your club' - Fighting talk from CPA as frustration over 'continued inaction' of GAA chiefs grows
CPA threaten strike action over fixture crisis
The Club Players Association (CPA) could take the nuclear option and propose strike action over what they perceive as "continued inaction" from the GAA's top brass in their efforts to solve the current fixture crisis.
In a hard-hitting statement issued to members yesterday afternoon, CPA chairperson Micheál Briody and secretary Michael Higgins detailed their frustration with GAA chiefs at a lack of progress regarding the formation of a new fixtures group.
Two years since its establishment to "help fix the fixtures", the CPA "are now looking for action not words" and hinted that "possible escalation" could be the next port of call if a satisfactory resolution is not sought.
"We have stated since the start of this process that it's not who is right but what is right. We know that what we are saying is right, because we have kept the fixtures issue on the agenda," the statement read.
"Everyone agrees it is a problem that needs to be solved. Whether they like us or not for saying that is irrelevant. We cannot say with certainty that we are being listened to at management level. But we know players are listening.
"So we are now looking for action not words. As GAA members we already know what we are, but we also know what we could be if our leadership can find the courage, the will and the foresight to move decisively on fixtures.
"The proposed fixtures group, properly constituted, presents an opportunity for a real, lasting legacy, beyond a new manifesto published and promoted at cost to the GAA. If our GAA is truly a place where we all belong then we need action, not words.
"We stand ready, as we have been since 2017. We will be in touch again soon to update you on next steps, including possible escalation.
"We ask you as a club player to get ready to stand up for your club against continued inaction."
The CPA's anger comes on the back of "extensive dialogue" with the GAA's Director General Tom Ryan and President John Horan where they felt "constructive breakthroughs" were made in December and January.
Through those talks they detail "firm commitments" which were received from the GAA to set up a fixtures group - with an independent chairperson and representatives from all key stakeholders, including the CPA - "to look at all competitions", but progress has seemingly stalled.
John Horan irritated the CPA with comments made at this year's Congress, suggesting they should deliver more detailed proposals of a revamped fixtures calendar, which Briody branded as "disrespectful".
"We have a clear trail of correspondence from Croke Park about the new fixtures group, but it has yet to be constituted or a date set for meetings," the statement continued.
"We thought we were being listened to. Sadly, progress has ground to a halt. Words but no action."