Despite the Club Players Association (CPA) asking their members if they want the body to take stronger action, Tom Ryan believes business can be done with them.
New GAA president John Horan has already met the CPA and new director general Ryan is scheduled to talk with them next week.
“What they’re seeking to achieve is not unreasonable,” said Ryan.
“I think everybody would like to see us get to that stage where we have a decent fixture programme mapped out in advance for people. The difficulty is in the ‘how’ bit — how you go about doing that, because there are all manner of local complexities attached to fixtures born out of the different shape and size of different counties.
“It is very, very difficult for us here in Croke Park to ordain to Leitrim and Cork what their fixture programme should be and to monitor that. The GAA is built from the ground up and that does entail a significant amount of local authority and local control.
“The job of delivering the objectives of the CPA will be trying to harness locally county committees and making sure that fixture programmes that are derived locally fulfill what all club players want and what the Association wants, not just the CPA.”
Ryan is confident the GAA will work towards a more equitable fixtures framework for clubs in the coming years.
“To espouse a predictable and reasonable and fair and balanced programme for club players is not an unreasonable position for anyone to adopt, and I think the association has made strides towards that in recent years, more recently with the changes that we have brought about to the championship structure, I think we’ll see the results of that as this three-year programme unfolds. We will be able to gauge the merits of how that has worked.”
Speaking yesterday, Ryan remarked that it’s still too early to ascertain if the designated club month of April has been successful.
“It’s April 17, it’s maybe a little bit early to say. I’m hearing lots of anecdotal stuff but we’ll know at the end of April definitively in terms of the volume of games that have been played.
“The impact of the weather has been very unfortunate but that’s not really an excuse. We’ll measure it and judge it when we get to early May but until then I’ll reserve judgment on it.”
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