The Gaelic Players Association says that county panels in Division 4 of the National League will refuse to compete in an All-Ireland B championship, if the proposed championship structure is approved at this month's Annual Congress.
The GAA's Central Council is proposing the creation of a second-tier competition that would see counties in the bottom division of the league play in their provincial championships, but not in the All-Ireland senior series.
However, the GPA says that it has consulted “extensively” with the county squads in question and “a significant majority of players in each county” say that they will refuse to play in any B competition.
The players' body says that there is “growing consensus for urgent change amongst players; club and county, supporters and now administrators” and has called for a “freestanding working group” to be established after Congress to tackle the issue.
In a statement, the GPA added that, “County teams directly affected by the introduction of a B football championship have agreed unanimously that they will not participate in any new structure if this format is approved by Congress later this month.
“The GPA has consulted extensively with Squad Reps from the Division 4 squads and a significant majority of players in each county have indicated that they will refuse to play in B Competition proposed by Central Council in January.
“The players’ body has contacted the GAA on behalf of the membership and indicated that the issue of football competitions must be revisited and a solution found to the current challenges around viable structures.”
The GPA believe it’s “inconceivable” to think that the current championship structure will continue, saying that “the process put in place in this instance proved highly ineffective”.
“County players (through the GPA) understand that they are only one key group with views on this issue,” the GPA acknowledged.
“However, we would encourage the GAA, post Congress, to establish a high powered freestanding working group to address the football competitions debacle and related issues.
“We suggest this group includes a strong representation of county players and club players who are the individuals most affected by the current procrastination. The views of county players have been communicated to the GAA in this regard.
“The GPA would also call on delegates at the upcoming GAA Congress to vote against any proposal supporting a B Championship and are encouraging all football county squads to canvass their respective county delegates on this matter.”
The GPA, however, urged delegates to support the motion to reduce the age limit of the U21 football championship to U20.