The Club Players Association (CPA) are set to meet with GAA officials today with a view to solving fixture problems.
Before the meeting on Wednesday, the CPA conducted a survey to gauge the opinion of the club players registered to the association. The survey attracted over 3,700 replies over the bank holiday weekend, with the results indicating strong support of the CPA proposals to deal with the epidemic that has become club championships playing second fiddle to the inter-county season.
Players from clubs all over Ireland are often left in limbo, training all summer, waiting for their county to be knocked out of championship to play off their own club championship games. The club players’ frustration of having no structure in place and having their fixtures squeezed in by county boards to suit the inter-county team are evident in this surveys findings:
86% are not happy with the way club fixtures are run in their county.
Of worthy note, 71% of club players elected in favour of a tiered inter-county Gaelic football championship. This proposal would involve the weaker counties entering a secondary All Ireland competition which would be marketed just as strongly as the primary All Ireland championship. The idea behind this proposal is that every county will have a fair and reasonable opportunity to win every year, while ensuring that club fixtures are not held up, postponed and stalled to accommodate one-sided county games.
In addition to this, 56% of the club players undertaking the survey voiced that they would scrap the inter-county provincial championships if they were to be replaced “by a fairer national championship that provides every team with an equally fair route to championship glory.” If this were to come into place, of course the club championship would then also be condensed and easier to structure.
The CPA have also stated that they are strongly in favour of Hurling Super 8 proposal.
“We believe it provides an ideal opportunity to also consider the issues of Club fixtures and it is something we (CPA) have already called for without success.”
Strides in the right direction are being made but it remains to be seen how much progress can be made in the efforts to resolve the issues with club fixtures which leave the club GAA players of Ireland so frustrated. We should see developments on the matter following today’s meeting between representatives from the CPA and the GAA.
Make sure to tune into the latest episode of the 16th Man, where we preview the Connacht SFC, and speak to Davy Glennon about Galway’s successful League campaign.