Shutting down club championships for summer 'not sustainable', says Cork CEO

Shutting down club championships for summer 'not sustainable', says Cork CEO
Cork GAA CEO Kevin O'Donovan

Cork GAA officials are determined to press ahead with club championship games next summer if the teams involved do not have players tied with the Cork seniors.

CEO Kevin O'Donovan believes the practice of shutting down championship action over the key summer months in Cork is not sustainable with its volume of dual clubs.

"(It) has had some benefits in terms of certainty and allowing league programmes to be completed. However, it is not sustainable for a county with such a number of dual clubs to delay the resumption of all county championships until after or close to the exit of our county teams."

He added:

The continued removal of clubs championship from the summer months would mean the end of the GAA as we know it in Cork and, in my own opinion, would do irreparable damage to the fabric of the club game which is the primary participation outlet for 99% of our players.

"In 2020, the provision of extra games via the new group format will increase participation levels, but such benefits would be negated by an overly condensed schedule next August, particularly for dual clubs. And yet, the group format and the provision of a minimum of three championship games to all teams now allows games between teams with no county players to be played mid-summer.

"This was not possible previously as many teams would exit the championship if defeated in their second game, but now as this game would be a second game of three, all teams would have something to play for in their third game in August.

"This means that the CCC would need a 'free hand' when fixing the Group games and therefore would not necessarily mean that 'winners play winners' in Round 2 as previously proposed. In line with the decision made by clubs earlier this year, after the completion of Round 1 in April, teams with inter-county senior panellists would not be asked to play Championship again until after Cork had exited the inter-county championship."

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