The Club Players’ Association (CPA) has called on Director General Páraic Duffy and Croke Park bosses to ensure the 2018 Master Fixtures plan is implemented “in full” at county level, writes Colm O’Connor.
The CPA also want GAA chiefs “to provide monitoring, guidance, and where appropriate sanction, to ensure this happens”.
The groundbreaking new plan will see April set aside for club fixtures, but CPA chairman Micheál Briody is fearful that individual county boards may not act accordingly.
Kevin Nolan, Declan Brennan, Michael Briody and Aaron Kernan of the CPA
“The National Master Fixtures plan was launched on Tuesday last, we received a copy of it and associated documentation upon request on Thursday. There are positive developments there for clubs, in terms of available weekends for club activity.
“We were however disappointed at the attitude expressed that individual counties may more or less do as they wish in April without any intervention by GAA management. We need more leadership and direction from Croke Park on that front.
“Croke Park have brought about these changes through Congress, and we want to see them get fully behind the changes and do everything in their power to make sure there is every chance of it all working. Are we seeing that?
“Leadership has to come from the top on this. If they leave it to 32 different county boards and clubs within each county, as was suggested last week… it could be carnage.
“What happens if county managers, for example, decide not to release their players, or if club fixtures are not put in place during that time?
“We are concerned that club players may just say enough is enough.
“The real danger here is that clubs are still at the bottom of the pile and are depending on the actions of others. Will we be back here again next year with the same problems and maybe a few new ones?
“We would like to see Central Competitions Control Committee or some central authority have the power to step in and enforce systems in place and/or hold any party to account that is being obstructive.
“There are a lot of positive changes in the plan, the inter-county competitions will be finished earlier and there are opportunities for a large number of counties to run competitions during summer months.”
This story first appeared in the Irish Examiner.