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‘Totally unnecessary and poisonous atmosphere....the very future of the GAA which we all love is at stake’

Club body warns of ‘crisis’ in Association over inter-county elite getting priority

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There has been a positive Covid test in a Laois GAA club

There has been a positive Covid test in a Laois GAA club

SPORTSFILE

There has been a positive Covid test in a Laois GAA club

The Club Players' Association (CPA) has accused the GAA of ignoring its own reports and insists that the "unpalatable reality is that the GAA is in crisis".

In a hard-hitting statement, the CPA outlined that the "very future of the GAA which we all love is at stake" and called on the association centrally to take a number of steps surrounding fixtures, including the drafting of a national games programme and designating specific periods of the calendar to club, county and third-level games.

"The GAA is currently in the middle of a very dangerous atmosphere which needs to be addressed immediately and certainly in advance of 2021," read the statement.

"If a satisfactory set of fixtures cannot be agreed then this totally unnecessary and poisonous atmosphere will further escalate and damage our Association.

"The simple and unpalatable reality is that the GAA is in crisis."

The statement outlines how the CPA believes the GAA is facing issues across four main areas, namely fixtures, finance, a lack of central governance and a "loss of its sense of identity as a community-based Gaelic games and culture organisation with the club at its core".

"Regrettably, the perception of the GAA at national and provincial levels has become that of a corporate elitist organisation which has income generation and a focus on a small elite of its top players at the core of its activities. Thus two per cent of the playing membership gets priority to the detriment of the remaining 98 per cent.

"As a result, inter-county activity gets priority over the needs of the vast majority of our playing members."

Relations between the CPA and GAA have been strained since the former opted out of a Fixtures Review task force last November stating the committee was "a Trojan horse, designed to give cover to the GAA authorities to ratify the status quo, while having the appearance of consultation and thoughtful deliberation".

Irish Independent