The Club Players Association (CPA) weren’t sparing with their language last week, but then, they would have had reason. The description of the fixtures taskforce as “a Trojan horse” was the exact phrase used by Europe chairman Tony Bass at Congress last year when he dismissed their transparency motion, which was then defeated heavily.
Just one Munster man — Cork GAA CEO Kevin O’Donovan — is involved in the new fixtures task force (four from Leinster, three each from Connacht and Ulster) but at least there are several members hailing from dual counties.
Club Players’ Association (CPA) chairman, Micheál Briody — one of the chief stakeholders in the recently-established Fixtures Review Committee (FRC) — has insisted there will be no sacred cows left untouched in their quest to find solutions for the vast majority of footballers and hurlers who have their fixtures postponed indefinitely by the inter-county season.
With the Club Players’ Association (CPA) threatening to “escalate” their stand-off against the GAA over club fixtures, GAA President John Horan says it is up to individual county boards to provide players with a programme that satisfies everyone.
They’d like to think they’re making changes — and for the better — but it would appear to be that the GAA’s modus operandi is just business as usual under the new leadership tandem of John Horan and Tom Ryan.
Not that long ago, but before TV3 let alone Sky Sports started covering the qualifiers and before the GAA was routinely accused of selling its soul, a team that had contested the previous year’s All-Ireland final was drawn away to a Leinster team with one of the worst and smallest stadiums in the country, just like Mayo were to Kildare last Monday morning.
The April fools were the GAA clubs which believed ‘club month’ would be a ring-fenced opportunity to inject momentum back into the grassroots. Our new columnistbelieves the first step towards correcting the Association’s biggest headache is to hand April back to the inter-county scene. Now read on...