GPA chief executive Dermot Earley has expressed annoyance at how the GAA have performed a U-turn by supporting the addition of more games to the senior All-Ireland championships.
At a launch of a strategic three-year plan for the GPA which coincided with a press conference for an official GAA sponsor, GPA president Dermot Earley has called for the proposed vote of Central Council about the proposed changes to the hurling championship which is due to happen on Saturday. Earley is concerned that there has been little debate on the matter and that more time should be given to discuss the matter. Earley is also concerned about the amount of games proposed which is a U-tern from Earley and the GPA as they had previously stated that they wanted more games for county players.
Absolutely. I brought that point to Páraic Duffy. I said that ‘our proposal was rejected before it even got to Central Council on the basis it has extra games. Now your new proposal has extra games.’
“That’s obviously annoying but for us it goes back to the first part of our strategic themes. Over the next three years, ‘Super 8s’ are in.
“We have to accept that and we accept the mechanism of Congress within the GPA, but we can still work on developing something to improve that and to improve on everything. As regards to both competitions – as regards to third level – don’t forget the Ring, Rackard and Meagher, which are very important competitions. We have time but we want to get it right. We have a competitions reform structures committee that will look at that and we will put something together hopefully to the floor of Congress by 2020.”
The official players’ body has set today as the deadline for feedback from hurling panels on the idea of the knock-out nature of the provincial championships being replaced by a round robin format.
“If we don’t have the feedback on time then I’ll be asking Central Council to postpone this and leave it until the next Central Council meeting. The talk is a Special Congress will be called in November. I think the next Central Council meeting is in August and another couple of months is not going to kill anybody and that allows for any issues or adjustments possibly that will improve on this that can be brought forward and we can make sure that whatever goes to the floor of Congress is the best possible solution at this particular time.”
Earley continued: “I’ve said this already to Páraic Duffy and I have no qualms about making that public – that it is not enough time for us to properly consult. We will get the information back in, but there is no point rushing this. Why not leave it for another two months and then have a look at the adjustments and then we can make an informed decision before this goes to the floor or a Special Congress.”