Last weekend's GAA Congress transcended its reputation in the fact that they actually got things done. And quite a bit, too. They did something Congress had done just once before, in the association's history: pass a motion changing the structure of the football championship.
That decision to change the quarter-finals to a round-robin format in which eight teams will play three games each went against the expressed wish of the players. The Club Players' Association came out against the motion weeks ago, while the Gaelic Players' Association belatedly came out against the proposal three days before the vote.
The GPA president Seamus Hickey said that GPA members were surveyed, and 70% opposed the introduction of the Super 8s.
All of the players' representative bodies in the GAA have now been surveyed and the inter-county player and the club player have called for the Duffy proposals to be shelve.
The GPA published a five-point rejection of the Super 8 format, with one of their issues being a failure to be properly consulted on the changes, with one of the objections being a "lack of sufficient and meaningful consultation with players regarding all aspects of the proposal".
Speaking on Off The Ball, Jarlath Burns, who favours the newly-implemented format, claimed that the reason behind the lack of consultation was the fault of the GPA and their processes.
Burns accuses the GPA of their surveying consisting solely of a WhatsApp message to members three weeks before the vote, something he believes is not indicative of a proper consultation process.
On February 8, three weeks before Congress, the GPA sent a WhatsApp to the county representatives – not even the individual players – and it was up to the representatives to send that then to their own players.
I think there’s a serious issue in here from the GPA as to how they actually didn’t properly consult with their players. How they didn’t properly present all of the facts and all of the constraints that were contained within this proposal and why this particular proposal was arrived at.
To send a WhatsApp out to your players three weeks before the vote and then to say the players weren’t given a sufficient or meaningful consultation for me is a player welfare issue.
You can listen back to the interview in full on the Newstalk website.
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